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December 21, 2010

Apple TV sales to exceed 1 million this week

by Darren Allan
Apple has announced that sales of its Apple TV will crest the one million mark before the end of this week. The set top box is more compact than its predecessor, being just a four inch square device, and it's not overly wallet stinging at £99. Apple notes that iTunes users are ...

December 13, 2010

Sony PS3 to get ITV Player and 4oD

by Darren Allan
Sony is continuing to pull ahead of the Xbox in terms of catch-up TV services in the UK. Not only does the PS3 already have the iPlayer, which Microsoft hasn't managed to sort out for the Xbox, but now it seems that the ITV Player and 4oD, Channel 4's video on demand service, will also be coming to the ...

December 8, 2010

CTO Anthony Rose steps down from YouView

by Darren Allan
Change is afoot down at YouView, with Chief Technology Officer Anthony Rose stepping down from his role. He will, however, continue to be a part of the project in an advisory capacity. In two further changes, YouView has appointed Sef Tuma as Head of Technical Delivery, and Andrew Burdess, formerly BT Vision Operations Director, ...

December 2, 2010

BBC iPlayer will go international on iPad in 2011

by Darren Allan
The Beeb is all set to roll out the iPlayer on an international basis, as an app for the iPad. BBC Worldwide will make the iPlayer available to America first, at some point next year, although it won't be free as it is in the UK. The iPlayer abroad will come with ...

November 24, 2010

Sony Qriocity movie streaming service launched

by Darren Allan
Sony has officially launched its video-on-demand movie service, Qriocity, in the UK and across Europe. Qriocity uses a pay-per-view model and offers a library of hundreds of films, including blockbusters from the likes of Twentieth Century Fox, Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros, Walt Disney and of course Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. You'll be able to stream these direct to your net ...

2011 could be the year of Connected TV

by Janet Harris
The convergence of television and the internet through services such YouView, Google TV and Apple TV is now really taking off and new research by Kantar Meadia suggest 2011 could be a boom year for IPTV. The firm found that only 42 per cent of people are currently aware of IPTV, but ...

November 21, 2010

Channel Five on-demand service on its way to PS3?

by Darren Allan
It seems that Channel Five's catch-up TV service might be winging its way to the PS3 soon, in the form of a dedicated application. Five Demand will be joining the likes of the Beeb's iPlayer and Channel 4oD which are already available on Sony's console. According to a report in Media Week, Channel Five is currently in discussions with Sony regarding making ...

November 18, 2010

Orb TV goes where Google TV cannot

by Janet Harris
In the US, Orb Networks has launched an Internet TV Solution which allows viewers to watch TV network sites such as Hulu and ABC.com which are blocked on Google TV, Boxee and the PlayStation 3. The difference is that the products which deliver these services utilise built-in Flash-enabled Web browsers, while Orb TV streams Web video to a ...

November 16, 2010

L4 Media announces Panorama IPTV widget platform

by Janet Harris
Florida based L4 Media group has launched its Panorama IPTV widget platform, which bears more than a passing resemblance to Google TV, at the Telco TV show in the US. The platform allows IPTV and television service providers to deliver personalised content such as Twitter and Facebook updates and footie scores at the touch of a button. Panorama ...

November 12, 2010

iPlayer coming to BT Vision

by Janet Harris
IPTV service BT Vision is adding the BBC iPlayer catch-up service to its platform over the next five months. Roll out of the service should be completed by April next year. BT Vision viewers will have nearly all of the content available on the online iPlayer. The partnership marks a change of heart by ...

November 10, 2010

Halton talks up YouView at Westminster Media Forum

by Janet Harris
YouView’s CEO Richard Halton called the Internet TV platform a "fantastic moment for the TV industry" at the Westminster Media Forum, and said that "TV will thrive" when the service is connected. A pilot project of the YouView set-top boxes, which will integrate consumers' current TV sets with the internet, will take place early next year with the service ...

November 9, 2010

Hulu Plus available on Sony Bravia TVs

by Janet Harris
Hulu, the US-based video streaming service, has announced that its recently launched Hulu Plus premium service will be available on Sony Bravia 2010 TVs, as well as other Bravia devices in the near future. Hulu Plus will also be available to Sony PlayStation 3 users with a free PlayStation Network account over the next week. Hulu Plus is currently ...

LoveFilm coming to Sony PS3 tomorrow

by Darren Allan
LoveFilm will be appearing on the PS3 tomorrow, the film rental service has confirmed on its website. The new service will allow current subscribers on a £5.99 (or more expensive) package to have access to a library of free streamed movies. Even those on a membership trial will be able to partake of the streaming action. Initially, the movies you'll ...

BBC iPlayer goes global

by Darren Allan
It has been confirmed that an international version of the BBC's catch-up TV service is set to be launched next year. Those are the Beeb's plans for the iPlayer, according to a report in the Telegraph, who talked to John Smith, the CEO of BBC Worldwide. Smith told the paper: “Not only will that mean international fans of, for example, Doctor Who ...

November 5, 2010

Hulu Plus available for all

by Janet Harris
Online video-on-demand service Hulu has announced that ‘Hulu Plus’ is now out of closed beta, which means that you no longer need an invitation to try it out. The service is available to anyone who is willing to pay $10 a month Hulu Plus, which was launched earlier this year, offers whole series shortly after they air, including HD ...

November 3, 2010

Virgin Media reveals TiVo box details

by Janet Harris
Following last year’s deal with TiVo, Virgin Media has finally revealed details of its TiVo-powered HD/3D set top box. The box will provide 1TB of storage and will bring internet services and apps direct to the television without going through a broadband router. This will allow it to deliver linear TV, on-demand TV and online HD video to ...

November 2, 2010

Yahoo! Connected TV expands across Europe

by Janet Harris
Yahoo! and Samsung are expanding their Yahoo! Connected TV service to 26 more European countries, making it available to 135 countries around the world. Yahoo! Connected TV brings on-demand Internet content to the television. Users press their remote to open a dock, from where they can add widgets from Yahoo! and other Internet sites, allowing them to watch shows, ...

October 29, 2010

YouView would welcome Sky despite criticism

by Janet Harris
YouView’s chairman, Kip Meek, has confirmed that Sky would be a welcome partner, despite the satellite broadcaster’s criticism of the YouView platform. Sky recently joined Virgin Media and others in complaining to Ofcom that the YouView on-demand platform would stifle competition in the market. However, at a Broadcast Journalist Guild event, Meeks said "It would be great, fantastic, ...

October 26, 2010

Updated iPlayer attracts more users

by Janet Harris
iPlayer usage has increased since the latest version was launched last month, according to a blog post by Daniel Danker, the BBC’s recently appointed General Manager for Programmes and On Demand. Demand for the service in the last week in September was the highest since May, with 24 million programmes played across TV and radio, while programme plays ...

October 22, 2010

Piracy fears cause networks to block Google TV

by Janet Harris
Users of Google TV, which was launched in the US last week, are finding that they are being blocked from accessing certain shows on ABC’s and CBS’s websites. The problem occurs when Google TV users try to stream full-length episodes. In a statement Google TV said: "Google TV enables access to all the Web content you already get ...

Sky Anytime+ and Demand Five put pressure on iPlayer

by Janet Harris
The BBC’s iPlayer has gone from strength to strength since its launch, but the video-on-demand market is changing quickly, with more services challenging the established ones, including Sky Anytime+ and Demand Five. Sky Anytime+, an internet delivered video-on-demand (VoD) service, will be rolled out to customers from Tuesday. Viewers with Sky+HD set-top boxes will be able to connect ...

October 21, 2010

D-Link announces Boxee Box UK release date

by Janet Harris
D-Link will launch its web TV set top, the Boxee Box, in the UK on 12th November – in plenty of time for Christmas. The £199 device allows web content to be viewed on a TV, and will compete with Apple TV, as well as Google TV which has just launched ...

October 18, 2010

PeerTV raising £6m through IPO

by Janet Harris
Israel-based PeerTV is planning to raise up to £6m through a flotation on London’s Alternative Investment Market. The company will offer up to 8.58 million shares to raise funding for the further development of its ‘PeerStation’ set-top boxes, electronic programme guides and video-on-demand content solutions. PeerTV's technology allows TV service providers to deliver live streamed channels and Video On ...

October 13, 2010

Find Any Film and Sky join YouView debate

by Janet Harris
In the face of complaints that its service could stifle innovation and competition, YouView has found an ally in on-demand movies search website Find any Film. Martin Talks, the director of Find Any Film is urging Ofcom to consider the commercial benefits that YouView will bring to the market, before deciding whether it should be investigated by the Competition Commission. ...

Sony Internet TV launched, powered by Google

by Darren Allan
Sony is busy “redefining home entertainment”, apparently, with the launch of its new net TV sets which are powered by Google TV. The range of HDTV sets will allow the owner to watch standard broadcasts (naturally enough), browse and stream video from the net, and enjoy apps. Built using Android and the Chrome browser, backed with an Intel Atom processor ...

LoveFilm and PS3 partnership now official

by Darren Allan
On Monday, rumours were doing the rounds that a LoveFilm movie streaming service was coming to the PS3. And now that fact has been officially confirmed by Sony and LoveFilm, with the service to become available on the XMB (Xross Media Bar). LoveFilm subscribers with a net connected PS3 will be able to stream from a selection of thousands of ...

October 12, 2010

Hulu on track for IPO

by Janet Harris
Online video rental service Hulu is expected to make a firm decision within the next couple of months, on whether to launch an Initial Public Offering (IPO). The placing is expected to take place next spring and could raise between US$200 and US$300 million, according to a report from Reuters news agency. It would value Hulu at $2 ...

October 8, 2010

Logitech releases Google TV STB

by Janet Harris
Logitech has released the first set top box to support the new Google TV service. It is priced at a hefty $300 and can now be pre-ordered ready for Google TV’s launch later this month. The Logitech Revue set-top box comes with a wireless keyboard and connects via HDMI to the HDTV, and either wirelessly or via an ethernet cable ...

October 6, 2010

Apple TV box now on sale in UK

by Darren Allan
The Apple TV set-top box has gone on sale in the UK. The compact four inch square box can be invited to move into your living room for the price of £99. The unit comes with four ports – the all important HDMI, plus optical audio, mini-USB and an ethernet port – and is equipped with wi-fi. There's ...

October 5, 2010

Google TV announces content deals prior to launch

by Janet Harris
With the first Google TV devices expected to be available in stores next week, news around the service is heating up. Content will be available from Turner Broadcasting, including CNN news and the Cartoon Network and comedy programming will be available from Time Warner’s HBO. There will also be thousands of movies and shows available from services such ...

October 4, 2010

YouView could ‘hijack’ local TV

by Janet Harris
YouView, the IPTV service formerly known as Project Canvas is continuing to stir up a mixed reaction from the industry. Virgin Media was recently joined by the Open Source Consortium in airing concerns that YouView could stifle innovation in the industry and now 14 local TV operators have written to the Times claiming that the service could ‘hijack’ the ...

October 1, 2010

iPlayer top for VoD usability, Sky bottom

by Janet Harris
The BBC’s ever-popular iPlayer came top for usability in a report from user experience consultancy, Webcredible, with a score of 88 per cent. Sky Player, however, scored just 55 per cent, putting it at the bottom of the list of six VoD / catch up TV services analysed by Webcredible. STV Player was in second place with 76 ...

September 30, 2010

Skype talks with Avaya and Facebook

by Janet Harris
According to All Things Digital, Facebook and Skype are about to form a partnership which will see Facebook users being able to make Skype calls and send Skype SMS messages to each other from their profile pages. The deal will also benefit Skype users, who will gain access to Facebook’s messaging service, Facebook Connect. Facebook has also announced a deal ...

September 28, 2010

Apple TV now shipping

by Darren Allan
Apple TV set-top boxes have now started shipping in both the US and UK, according to widespread reports on the net. Engadget has reported that folks in the US (and Canada) have begun to receive shipment notifications, with the earliest promised arrival date actually being today. TopNews reports that in the UK, sources ...

September 27, 2010

YouView could tread on YouTube’s toes

by Janet Harris
Lawyers have warned the BBC-led YouView project that their branding could lead to a tradmark challenge from Google, the owner of the similarly named YouTube. While the name YouView was chosen because of its connection with Freeview, the use of ‘You’ with the capitalised ‘V’ straight afterwards, is enough to cause problems, according to Robin Fry of law firm Beachcroft. ...

September 23, 2010

NBC rejects Apple TV content deal

by Janet Harris
Last week Warner Bros rejected Apple’s IPTV content offer, and this week NBC Universal has come to the same conclusion – offering content for 99 cents isn’t good for their business. However a lot of companies beg to differ and Apple TV has already signed up News Corp.'s Fox, The Walt Disney Co.'s ABC, ...

September 21, 2010

Nokia exec to lead Pace Enterprise

by Janet Harris
Set-top box maker Pace Plc has announced a new division, Pace Enterprise, which brings together its international IP, gateway and Networks businesses. Dr Mark Loughran, MD of Nokia UK & Ireland has been appointed President of the new division, with effect from 1 October. The restructuring is part of Pace’s strategy to keep up with the trend towards ...

September 20, 2010

VMP will make you fall in love with your TV

by Janet Harris
In an interview with the Express, Virgin Media’s chief executive has been singing the praises of the Virgin Media Player (VMP), saying "it will make people fall in love with their television sets again". The internet TV service is currently available in beta for Virgin’s XL TV customers who also have a Virgin Media broadband connection. VMP will ...

September 17, 2010

Warner Bros rejects Apple TV deal

by Janet Harris
Warner Bros turned down Apple’s invitation to offer TV show rentals for 99 cents because it believed such a low price would have an adverse effect on sales of full seasons of leading shows. Apple recently launched a $99 version of its IPTV set-top box, along with 99-cent show rentals on iTunes. Speaking ...

September 16, 2010

Toshiba announces Opera browser for Regza TVs

by Janet Harris
Toshiba’s Regza VL and WV HbbTVs will include the Opera browser, it was announced today. HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) brings broadband and broadcast together seamlessly, allowing viewers to enjoy Internet content on their living room TV. The Opera TV browser is based on the same core architecture as the Opera desktop browser. UK viewers will also be able to ...

Project Canvas officially christened YouView

by Darren Allan
Project Canvas has officially been named YouView, the brand which many had speculated would be given to the service. The name is reminiscent of a certain behemoth online video sharing service owned by Google, and any association with that doubtless won't do the scheme's chances of success any harm. YouView is a subscription-free IPTV service which will provide TV programmes, ...

September 15, 2010

Sony adds iPlayer to Bravia TVs

by Janet Harris
Sony’s Bravia connected TVs are to get the BBC’s iPlayer service, the company confirmed today. The service will give Bravia users access to on-demand television through the Sony Xross Media Bar. Sony has already integrated iPlayer in its PlayStation 3 games console. The 2010 Bravia range includes the online viewing interface Bravia Internet Video. Internet connected viewers can ...

September 14, 2010

Connected’ IPTV Platform Launched

by Janet Harris
At IBC 2010 Capablue launched ‘Connected’ the online video platform developed in partnership with TV Genius and Brightcove. STV is expected to be the first broadcast client for the platform, which will enable the development and deployment of on-demand content for internet-connected devices. Tom Cape, managing director of Capablue said: “This has been a very exciting project and we are ...

D-Link Boxee net TV box priced and dated

by Darren Allan
D-Link's Boxee media streaming net TV box, a potential rival for Apple's set-top box, has been stamped with a UK release date and price. The Boxee Box is based on the media centre software of the same name, and is powered not by an Nvidia Tegra 2 as was first intended, but an Intel Atom CE4100 SoC processor. The switch ...

September 13, 2010

Adobe releases Flash Media Server 4

by Janet Harris
Adobe has improved media streaming on its Flash Media Server product, allowing firms to deliver high-quality video content at low-cost. Flash Media Server 4 comes in three flavours – Streaming, Interactive and Enterprise and, as the names suggest, each one is designed with a specific market in mind. The high-end Enterprise Server version comes with peer-assisted networking for social media ...

September 10, 2010

Manufacturers support Project Canvas

by Janet Harris
Project Canvas has received a massive response to its recent call for manufacturers to come forward to produce a Freeview based PVR. Forty manufacturers have expressed an interest in producing devices with the Canvas software, with Project Canvas claiming that this is a massive endorsement of its plans. The organisation’s web-TV plans have come in for strong criticism, with Virgin ...

September 9, 2010

New iPlayer features could clog business networks

by Janet Harris
The latest version of the iPlayer makes it possible to download HD content and link directly with social networks, so that once you’ve watched a show you can zip over to Facebook and recommend it to your friends. Sounds great, but WAN optimisation company Blue Coat is warning that the extra demand the new features could put on business networks ...

September 8, 2010

Google TV preparing for US launch

by Janet Harris
Google announced at the IFA technology event, that it is preparing to launch Google TV in the USA over the next few weeks and will roll the service out to other countries next year. Google is currently testing the software for the service, which will allow users to access the Internet from their TV. The free service will allow users ...

September 7, 2010

BBC hires Microsoft manager to boost iPlayer development

by Janet Harris
Yesterday the BBC announced a major upgrade to the iPlayer and today it has announced the creation of a new role to boost its online services. Daniel Danker joins the BBC from Microsoft, as general manager for programmes and on-demand (POD). In his new role Danker will develop products to deliver online services, including TV and radio, and will manage iPlayer and ...

September 3, 2010

International launch for BBC iPlayer

by Janet Harris
Since the BBC iPlayer was launched three years ago the service has gone from strength to strength. Not content with offering the iPlayer on everything from smartphones to Internet-connected TVs, the BBC now has geographic expansion in its sights. Speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, BBC Director-General Mark Thompson revealed plans for an international rollout of the ...