Monthly Archives: September 2016

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By Josette Downey

The FCC’s proposal to push Television providers to allow cable and satellite subscribers use third party streaming devices in lieu of cable set-top box rentals is spurring up quite a controversy. The FCC is pushing for the creation of an app in order to allow viewers to still enjoy their favorite content via their set-top boxes like Roku and other devices.

This would also allow customers to skip box rental fees that can be an excess of 200 dollars per year. But not everyone is happy about such a plan. Organizations such Hollywood studios, many major guilds and multichannel video distributors fear that “any arrangement in which they are required to allow their content to be distributed on terms or conditions to which programmers would not agree would be tantamount to a compulsory copyright license.”

Such objections are making it hard for meetings with the FCC, providers and content creators to be successful.  The free app was to be a compromise to an earlier proposal called “unlock the box”  that would have required providers to make their feeds available to third-party device makers who would sell competing boxes.

There is a bipartisan support for the free app and several congress members are pushing for an agreement before a new administration takes over in January.

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), said  “consumers have been waiting for twenty years for relief from these fees. This disappointing delay will cost them even more money.”

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Netflix has a lot of titles. The service currently has 4,033 movies and documentaries and  5,344 overall titles available. And out of all of those movies TV Shows and documentaries, Netflix’s algorithm chooses no more than 75 titles for a category called “Trending Now” at least in a comparison between the Netflix iPad app and the Netflix app on my Roku Streaming Stick. So I found it very interesting to see Lethal Weapon listed as one of the trending titles. In fact not only is the first chapter in the series part of the grouping but LW3 and LW4 also made the list. We think that the trend points to something important for Fox. The network behind the new Lethal Weapon series may well have a hit on its hands.  

When we first noticed Lethal Weapon as a title we could not help but notice that it will be expiring on October 1. Seeing that we decided to manually check the rest of the titles on the list of Trending Now. This is because as people who follow the company know, there are monthly reports about what will be coming and leaving the service each month. Of the 72 other titles, (besides the Lethal Weapon movies), listed in the Trending Now category, only 4 movies (Beverly Hills Cop, Beverly Hills Cop 2 Back To the Future and Back To The Future 2) were also on their way out in October. There is a long list of departing titles in October but it’s mostly reality shows, see here . I don’t think I missed any. So this means that the trending titles are not necessarily boosted by what is about to leave.

Flaws in Our Thinking
Lethal Weapon is not the only older title in this category which includes Contact, Escape from LA and Kingpin  along with 90′s TV shows Friends and Star Trek Voyager. And unless we have missed something  none of those other movies listed are being made into a new series. Star Trek, of course, is getting another shot on TV with CBS’s upcoming project. So it could be that the inclusion of the Mel Gibson and Danny Glover is a coincidence.

The Ratings Have been Strong So Far
Besides our own hunches, the ratings for the show appear to have gotten off to a fast start. The series debuted to a strong start as the show tied Designated Survivor as the highest-rated Wednesday new series. This week the series had a small drop as new shows begin to roll out. It could be that our theory on this is very thin, anorexic even. But It will be fun to see where things go from here. If you have not seen the new Lethal Weapon series you can check it out through Fox’s apps or Hulu. It has great action sequences and snappy dialogue that harkens back the source material. But if you get inspired to knock out the originals you best get to binging right now. 

75 trending titles including TV Shows and Movies

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Is Amazon taking a shot at the Nvidia Shield with its gaming centric bundle?

The CW released its app for Fire TV today. The app like the one for Roku will allow users to access all of the network’s programming during the season. The CW app which is free on a number of platforms is the only legal way to watch its programming besides its website. Unlike other network TV apps the CW app does not require users to verify a pay TV provider.

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Video review of the CW channel for Roku

The CW app for Roku lets users watch all of its shows for free.

The CW channel for Roku is easy to use and best of all its totally free. Unlike a number of network based Roku channels users can access everything on the CW channel without the need to sign in to the channel with a cable password. This means that for cord-cutter CW fans the CW world is yours for the viewing. The entire lineup of CW shows will be available in season and will feature the last five episodes of any show in-season. That means you have at least a month to watch any of your favorites before the season moves on. You may remember that was the case with CW shows on Hulu also.

Take a look at our video review bellow

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Los Angeles – September 28, 2016 – Building on its commitment to innovation and excellence as a purveyor of pop culture, Shout! Factory, a leading multi-platform entertainment company, unveils the launch of its streaming service SHOUT! FACTORY TV on Amazon Channels and Apple TV today.

Expanding upon Shout’s strategy to further maximize the value of its cult movie and TV libraries across broadcast, VOD, satellite and telco distribution businesses, the launch of SHOUT! FACTORY TV on Amazon Channels is the service’s first foray into SVOD streaming and is an important step in broadening Shout’s reach beyond traditional distribution platforms.

SHOUT! FACTORY TV is a premiere digital entertainment streaming service showcasing cult and classic movies and television shows that shape today’s pop culture. With a uniquely curated entertainment library, the channel offers an unrivaled blend of cult TV shows, movies, comedy, original specials and more – presenting an exciting entertainment alternative to major streaming services.

SHOUT! FACTORY TV’S video subscription on Amazon Channels is available to Amazon Prime members for $2.99/month with unlimited access to thousands of hours of film and television offerings commercial-free. Additionally, exclusive to its video subscription, SHOUT! FACTORY TV is proud to present the films Women’s Prison Massacre, Capricorn One, Saturn 3, The Cassandra Crossing and The Eagle Has Landed.

Also available now, SHOUT! FACTORY launches its app for Apple TV. The app, like SHOUT! FACTORY TV’s other OTT apps, is ad-supported and available for free download in the app store.

SHOUT! FACTORY TV’s programming features a distinctive library of pop culture-defining entertainment curated from Shout! Factory, Westchester Films, Timeless Media Group, Scream Factory, Indomina library, major studios, independent producers, and other sources as well as exclusive original series.

Whether reliving nostalgic memories or discovering television series, movies and comedy specials for the first time, SHOUT! FACTORY TV provides an immersive, high-quality viewing experience across a wide variety of screens and platforms.
SHOUT! FACTORY TV programming includes:
Television series including Mystery Science Theater 3000, Father Knows Best, Route 66, Home Movies, Weird Al Show, and Thunderbirds
Movies such as Death of a Salesman, A Night in Casablanca, Stagecoach, Quadrophenia, Kenny Roger’s The Gambler trilogy, Casino Jack, Holy Motors, Day of the Dead, Steven Souza’s Arnold Wrecking Company, Jackie Chan movies, Godzilla films, the Werner Herzog Collection, and Roger Corman’s cult classics
Documentaries including The Decline of Western Civilization and The Night James Brown Saved Boston
Variety shows such as The Dick Cavett Show, Fridays, and The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour
Standup comedy performances from Steve Martin, Kathy Griffin, and Jeff Garlin and more
Live streaming events such as the award-winning MST3K Turkey Day Marathon, Power Morphicon Live, and Super Sentai Marathon
Themed programming stunts such as VHS Vault and Love is in the Scare
Original series such as Backlot and MDA Telethon Presents
Films with director commentary including Kentucky Fried Movie and A Boy and his Dog

SHOUT! FACTORY TV is now available on the following platforms:
Via desktop and mobile web browser at ShoutFactoryTV.com
Roku player app
Amazon Fire app
Amazon Channels
Samsung Smart TV app
Apple TV app
Live streaming on Pluto TV channel 515

 

 

 

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The Tick is coming back to TV. The show, which is a comedy based in the superhero genre may have been ahead of its time when it launched years ago, but thanks to its pickup by Amazon the new series has a chance to strike while the iron is hot this time. The market is in love with comic book adaptations and has been for over a decade. Amazon has also decided to move forward with Jean-Claude Van Johnson a comedy starring the one and only Jean-Claude Van Damme and I love Dick with Kevin Bacon.  The shows add some strong new installments to Amazon’s original series slate.

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The Roku Express line is pocket sized.

The upcoming Roku Express could be an incredible value proposition for people looking to get into streaming or just looking to save some money on extra devices for travel or additional TVs.. By offering a $29.00 1080p streaming device with a remote and an HDMI cord included the device. Now unlike some of the companies more advanced models, the device is not a quad-core streamer. The new model is $20.00 less than the quad-core stick. For those looking to convert a non-HDTV into a smart TV, the Roku Express +the price is a little higher at $39.00. The plus of the device is that it includes a port for AV cables while the lesser priced model does not. For HD quality streaming though the Express almost can’t be beaten on price.

Compared to Chromecast and Fire TV Stick

Chromecast better watch out if FIre TV stick gets the same functionality.
The Fire TV Stick is the current low budget champ.

I have long thought that despite how very handy the Chromecast is, the lack of a remote and the fact that users are limited to whatever apps are downloaded onto a mobile device as a major problem, mush less the lack of an actual launch screen or menu. So from a usability standpoint, the Express wins out big time. Amazon’s recently announced Fire TV Stick update  for $40.00 features a quad-core processor, voice-enabled remote and Alexa should prove to be a more serious competitor. The Roku Express does not feature a voice remote, though the Roku smartphone app does allow for voice capability.  

Only available at Walmart
This is not a commercial for Walmart it is an acknowledgement. Walmart will be the exclusive home of the lowest cost device. Roku obviously has a very targeted campaign in mind for the bargain streamer.  We have to wonder if consumers will see the price slashed as a black Friday deal. Imagine buying an HD quality streamer and HDMI cord for $10.00-$15.00.

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A new Chromecast featuring a new design and 4k capability is expected to be announced October 4 at a Google event featuring a number of products including phones and Google Home. Android Police reported the Google event in early September and Venture Beat released the first image of the new device (which will reportedly cost $69.00 this week. According to reports the device will not replace the HD version of the dongle, so you will still be able to get the 2nd generation device for $35.00.

Stay with the Streaming Advisor for more updates as they roll out.

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Amazon announced a new Fire TV with a quad-core processor set to roll out October 20. The new item which will support up to 1080p picture quality will cost $39.00 and ship with a voice-controlled remote.  The new product is the second refresh of the Fire TV Stick and first major hardware upgrade since the product rolled out.

What is the difference between the Fire TV Stick and The Fire TV Set-top Box
Besides its price of course, the Fire TV stick features 1 GB of Ram while the box has 2 GB. Another differnce is that The quad core Fire Stick will support casual games while the box supports high-performance games.

Full Specs
Size:
3.4″ x 1.2″ x 0.5″ (85.9 mm x 30.0 mm x 12.6 mm)
Weight:
1.1 oz. (32.0 g)
Processor:
MediaTek Quad-core ARM 1.3 GHz
GPU:
Mali450 MP4
Storage:
8 GB internal
Memory:
1 GB
Wi-Fi Connectivity:
Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi supports 2×2 MIMO 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth:
Bluetooth 4.1
Voice Support:
Yes, with Alexa Voice Remote (included) or free Fire TV Remote App (available for download on Fire, Android, and iOS)
Game Controller:
Support Yes, optimized for Amazon Fire TV Game Controller and most games are compatible with other Bluetooth controllers
Cloud Storage:
Free cloud storage for all Amazon content
Ports:
HDMI output, Micro USB for power only
Audio Support: Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1
Content Formats Supported Video: H.264 1080p30H.265 1080p30,
Audio: AAC-LC, HE-AACv1 (AAC+), HE-AACv2 (eAAC+), AC3 (Dolby Digital), eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MIDI, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, AMR-NB, AMR-WB
Photo: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP
Output Resolution Supported:
720p and 1080p up to 60fps
System Requirements: High-definition television with available HDMI input, Internet connection via Wi-Fi, a power outlet.
TV Compatibility:
Compatible with high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p at 60/50Hz

Included in the Box Fire TV Stick

  • Alexa Voice Remote
  • USB cable and power adapter
  • HDMI extender
  • 2 AAA batteries
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Alexa Voice Remote
  • Size 1.5″ x 5.9″ x 0.7″ (38.4 mm x 150.7 mm x 16.7 mm)
  • Weight 2.4 oz (68 g) with batteries / 1.6 oz (45 g) without batteries
  • Batteries 2 AAA (included)
  • Battery life Up to 12 months battery life with typical use

 

 

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Well let’s put it this way. If you didn’t watch the presidential debate Monday night you just may be the only one you know who didn’t. The ratings numbers from Monday’s debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump show that around 84 million people watched the event on television. It was aired on multiple networks and may be the most-watched debate of all time topping the Reagan-Carter debate from October 28,  1980  See a clip here. That debate was defined by the “There you go again” one liner has been often recognized as a classic moment in American politics. Monday’s debate may not have had a signature line but it certainly sizzled for the broadcast and cable networks smashing ratings for Monday Night Football, which pulled an estimated 9.7 million viewers.

I’m a political junkie and one of the things that truly annoys me about the modern media is its tendency to report on politics as though its sports news, putting together highlight reels of one-liners and applause lines like they are interceptions or slam dunks. If you really want to be informed the best way to do so is to watch the debate unfold as it actually did. The good news is that if you are looking to do so you can so. While the debate is available via a number of sites, to make things less of a headache we are going to provide you with two. One pay option and one free option.

For Hulu subscribers, the event is available as an ABC special. Not a paying subscriber? PBS has the debate available via its website and its apps. While it might not apparent from the main app menu a quick search will find the event in seconds.

PBS Website here

Hulu Website here

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