On today's show, it's a total Monday, so we devolve into nonsense words a little bit. It's mostly to stave off our justified rage over Cablevision and News Corp.'s money-motivated, consumer-unfriendly standoff. In other news, Google offers personalized Doodles on your birthday, and Borders offers yet another manifesto outlet. --MollySubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Links from Monday's episode of Loaded:
Facebook is apparently caught sharing user names and user friend names with advertisers and tracking companies, in violation of its own terms of service
Yahoo is said to be launching Y Connect, a universal log-in system much like Facebook Connect
YouTube Leanback becomes a part of Google TV
Sony's Google TV sets are hitting stores early
The Nintendo Wii no longer requires a disc to stream Netflix
The FCC moves to open up the cable box and DVR marketMike Tyson returns to an iPhone version of Punch Out
Disc-less Netflix streaming is now possible on all three major game consoles.
Nintendo Wii owners can download a free Netflix app from the Wii Shop Channel, starting today, that lets the rental company's subscribers stream television shows and movies without requiring them to insert a special disc into the game console.
This comes on the heels of Sony's announcement last week that a free app would be available today to let Netflix subscribers stream content on PlayStation 3 without inserting a disc. Microsoft's Xbox 360 has been offering disc-less Netflix streaming since the service's launch on … Read more
Scientists determine that embryos need gravity. Steve Jobs determines that Chilean miners need iPods. Google certainly doesn't need any more money. Consumers don't want 3D TVs yet. And you really, really don't want to touch someone else's iPad.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Those who are disappointed by the sound quality of Netflix's streaming service will finally get their wish for better audio.
Netflix has tapped Dolby Digital Plus to feature 5.1-channel surround sound in its streaming service, the companies announced today.
The new 5.1-channel surround sound feature will be made available on the PlayStation 3 first, the companies said. It will be offered in tandem with the native Netflix app launch on Monday. According to Netflix, it plans to offer 5.1-channel surround sound to other devices "over time," but it wouldn't say when it would … Read more
PlayStation 3 owners will soon be able to stream Netflix without inserting a disc.
Starting Monday, Netflix Instant Streaming will appear on the console's XrossMediaBar, console maker Sony announced today. In addition, the PlayStation 3 will be the first Netflix-capable device to boast support for 5.1-channel surround sound on Netflix content.
Sony said the free Netflix application must be installed for the disc-less streaming to kick in. After that, PS3 owners will find a new interface that includes search. The company said that since the app will run natively on the console, people will be able to use … Read more
Netflix updated its iPhone and iPod Touch application yesterday with video-out capabilities.
The update, which also included bug fixes, allows owners to use one of the many video adapters available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and push Netflix content to a larger display, like a television. Apple and several other third-party vendors sell the adapters.
It's important to note that the update only applies to the iPhone 4 and the fourth-generation iPod Touch. Previous versions of the devices are not supported.
Video-out availability on the iPhone or iPod Touch might not excite those who already own the new … Read more
Apple really is making good on its promise to ease the restrictions that previously plagued developers such as PlayOn. The service initially had to rely on Safari power to bring its video-streaming goodness to iPhone and iPod Touch owners, but now there's an official, approved PlayOn Mobile app.
As someone who loves TV, I really wanted to like it. But PlayOn Mobile suffers from the same irksome (and in some cases inexplicable) limitations as its browser-based counterpart.
In case you're not familiar with it, PlayOn is an Internet-TV service that slings shows from your Windows PC to your game console, various media center boxes, and, now, your iPhone or iPod Touch. It's kind of like Roku, with your PC filling the role of "the box."
However, PlayOn offers a more compelling mix of channels than Roku, including Netflix, Hulu (the free, non-premium version), Amazon VOD, CBS, Comedy Central, ESPN.com and ESPN3, PBS Kids, CNN, and MLB.tv (which requires a subscription).
That's an impressive lineup, though somewhat less so now that Hulu and Netflix have standalone apps (each with dramatically better interfaces). On the other hand, Hulu's app works solely with Hulu Plus, the $9.99 a month subscription service, whereas PlayOn serves up all of Hulu's free content.
Speaking of money, the iOS app is free, but the PlayOn service costs $39.99 for the first year and $19.99 annually after that. You can also buy a lifetime subscription for $79.99--less than you'd pay for a single year of Hulu Plus.
Now for the bad news. The console versions of PlayOn have long been plagued by a poor interface, and I'm sad to say the app version is no different. For starters, the only way to access content is to drill down through extensive menus. There's no search option, which I find inexcusable.… Read more
The great Internet TV battle royale of 2010 is officially underway, with new boxes from Roku and Apple TV leading the charge. On paper, it's a very even-handed match-up: both are miniscule $99 streaming-media boxes that promise to offer an expanded slate of TV shows, movies, and music for consumers. Other matching features: both offer Netflix streaming, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and Ethernet networking, and HDMI output. So, which is worth your hard-earned Benjamin Franklin?
Unfortunately, it's not a cut-and-dry situation. Both units scored an identical 3.5 stars on our CNET rating scale. But if you look at the sub-ratings (design, features, performance), you'll see that each box has a relative strength and weakness. Right now, it shakes out as follows:… Read more