Tag Archives: Live TV

External Storage Support Coming to Xbox One in June Update

Do you have an Xbox One and would like to expand the total storage capacity for whatever reason, by adding external storage? Well, start counting down the days. In a blog post on Xbox Wire on May 21, Larry Hyrb (known more popularly as Major Nelson) announced that external storage feature is coming to Xbox One in the upcoming “June update”.

Xbox One External Storage
Xbox One External Storage

This is one of the few other features coming to Xbox One in this update. Others include:

Real names to identify friends: Until now, friends list and followers list only included gamertags. With the increased friend limits, it becomes hard to correlated gamertags with real names of friends. The real name won’t show up in games, and in terms of sharing, there will be full control on whether something is shared among friends, a subset of friends, friends of friends or nobody at all.

Xbox One Real Names
Xbox One Real Names

SmartGlass with full OneGuide and Universal Remote: The SmartGlass app for Xbox One will now have the entire OneGuide and Universal Remote experience. Per the post:

We’ve made a ton of changes to your SmartGlass app for Xbox One. After getting great feedback from our SmartGlass beta, we’re thrilled to be bringing the entire OneGuide experience and Universal Remote Control to SmartGlass. Now in supported markets you can view all of your TV listings on your SmartGlass device and set and view your favorite channels and app channels on your smart phone, tablet or PC. With the Universal Remote Control, you can also easily switch channels, set new recordings and select and control recorded content from your DVR. Another great companion feature now in SmartGlass is pin reordering. With the touch of your finger you can easily organize your pins in categories or favorites based on your preferences and have those changes refresh to your console.

Other improvements to SmartGlass will help you stay current on what you and your friends are up to, even when you’re away from your console. We’re bringing hero stats and activity feed front and center, and adding more ways for you to compare achievements via SmartGlass whether you’re on a friend’s profile or viewing a game from the activity feed. Just like on the console, you can choose to get notifications on your smart phone, PC or tablet when a favorite friend signs into their console or starts broadcasting a game. For many devices, you can even choose to start watching the broadcast wherever you are.

Expanded TV and OneGuide support: TV and OneGuide will now be available to all in Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Xbox LIVE Gold updates: As reported earlier, the updated Xbox LIVE Gold features will be finally made available in this update.

Here’s Major Nelson providing these updates in a video:

XBOX ONE: Can Microsoft Own the Living Room?

On May 21, Microsoft revealed the next generation of their gaming-cum-entertainment console, Xbox. Dubbed XBOX ONE, officials made it a point to talk up the non-gaming aspects of the new console as much as, if not more than, the gaming aspects. Given that the reveal event was limited to an hour, and that this is a console that has not been updated for years, there were many questions raised than answers provided.

Some of the key questions, at least among the tech media revolve around the gaming aspects of the console, and whether it or the upcoming console from Sony, the Playstation 4 (PS4) would be the better device for gamers. The other aspect that has been questioned a lot is the live TV feature revealed by Microsoft. Eyebrows were raised when everyone realized that the live TV feature would be provided via HDMI input and IR blaster as opposed to TV tuners or cable cards.

This is typical of tech media nowadays. For whatever reason, they make anything that Microsoft does seem silly. Here’s my take on what the Xbox One represents for Microsoft and how some of the things that are in the console may make sense.

First, this was the first of many events where the Xbox team will talk about the various aspects of the console. Naturally, since there is so much information to disseminate, it would be too much to do all at once and in a reasonable amount of time. Remember how the Sony event went on for hours because they went into too much detail at a “launch” event? I think, Microsoft learned the lesson and kept it short and left it simply as a reveal event without going into too much (or any) detail with regard to the developer story, the policy for used games, etc. There are at least two known events in June where they will get a chance to talk about the Xbox One as well as Xbox 360: the E3 expo in early June, and the Microsoft developer conference, BUILD, in late June. The timing of the reveal event absolutely makes sense given that they can follow up on the story within weeks of the reveal.

As for gaming aspects, Microsoft did talk about the specs of the console which are a significant upgrade over the Xbox 360. They also talked about how the three OSes in the console work in a way to make it possible to instantly switch between apps and games without having to wait for the game to reload. Some have rightly pointed out that by pure specs, the Xbox One is inferior to the PS4. However, as we know, there is no point in having a higher spec gadget where the software or content cannot or does not take advantage of the higher spec. For example, the iPad with Retina Display had an issue when it shipped, where many of the popular apps were not Retina-ready and looked worse than they looked on the non-Retina iPads. So, we will have to wait and see how much better the graphics look on the PS4 before concluding that it is “better” than the Xbox One.

As for the games themselves, they showed some of the exclusives that are coming to Xbox One from large development shops like EA. Naturally, E3 is the more appropriate venue to talk more about the games that will be coming to the console when it launches, both from large shops as well as indie developers. Also, BUILD is the best venue to discuss the developer story, especially how Xbox plans to accommodate indie developers especially if the “guts” of the console are based on Windows 8. Can a developer, for example, build an app or a game for Windows 8 tablet and with minor modifications (like maybe Kinect support), publish it to the “Xbox Store”? I am of course making the assumption that there will be an Xbox Store, which has not been confirmed by Microsoft but again, between E3 and BUILD we should know for sure.

Now, regarding live TV and wasted resources (hardware and software) to support it via a combination of HDMI passthrough and IR blaster. The argument made is that these methods are backward and it was tried by Google TV and did not succeed at all. Let me just say that Google TV, among many other flaws, did not support voice like Xbox One is supposed to support. The demo at the reveal event showed how you could simply talk to the Xbox and switch from playing a game to watching a channel or a show just by voice. Google TV had a clunky remote that was really hard to use and perhaps the failure of Google TV was not the IR blaster as maybe the user experience itself.

Coming to the choice they made by not including TV tuners or cable cards, the same pundits complaining about these are also claiming that more and more entertainment is viewed without cable. There is evidence that at least in the US, many households are “cutting the cord” and living without cable. These households have not stopped watching TV, they just use services like Netflix, hulu, etc. to consume their content. If that is the case, and knowing that the Xbox console is built for at least a 7-10 years lifecycle, what is the point in supporting a dying technology? Why should the Xbox have the incremental cost bundled into it now, knowing that in maybe 3 years most of the content won’t be consumed via the cable box? The Xbox One has done the right thing by providing the equivalent of a USB dongle for floppy drives when floppy drives were eliminated from laptops. The HDMI-in and IR blaster will help transition away from the cable box. Even though they have to plan for the future, they still have to support the present and that’s what these ports allow them to do. The only issue I see so far, and we don’t know everything about it in detail yet, is the lack of a DVR in the console itself. That too could be a non-issue if the voice commands could bring up the DVR content from the cable box too.

The Xbox 360 has sold 76 million consoles in its lifetime so far, but I am sure Microsoft wants that to expand dramatically. Why wouldn’t they expect to have one in each household? In order to appeal to “non-gaming households”, Microsoft will have to make the console appealing to the casual gamers and non-gamers via their entertainment story as well as the ecosystem story. There is, after all, a potential to see apps written for Windows Phone that may work on Windows 8 and Xbox One (with code modifications to suit each device appropriately, of course). Pure gaming console market is surely on the decline, so targeting just the gamers by simply making the most powerful console on the market would be a waste of R&D resources. Instead, by making it reasonably competitive with the PS4 for gaming, and dramatically improving the other experiences like live TV, snapping two apps, Skype video conferencing in HD, completely overhauled Kinect with wide-angle 1080P camera that can see in the dark, exclusive partnership with the NFL, etc., Microsoft has a shot at becoming a permanent fixture in the living room.

Personally speaking, I am at best a casual gamer. I liked what I have seen so far. I do want to know how they are going to fit the developer pieces together and what are the chances of seeing a spurt in apps as well as the integration within the Windows ecosystem. By the end of June, I will know enough to decide if I am going to buy the console right away or not.

Are you excited about Xbox One? Sound off in the comments!

Tata Docomo Offers Live Cricket On Mobile TV

tata docomo tv

Last month, Tata Docomo launched its 3G services in India and offered 250 MB worth of 3G services at 3G speeds for free. And now, the company announced an exciting offer that brings together all 3G Lovers and die hard Team India supporters. Tata Docomo offers 10 hours of Live Cricket during the India – New Zealand one-day series for free.

Tata Docomo 3G services are currently available only in nine circles Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, UP (West), Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra. Tata Docomo subscribers from these nine circles can enjoy free Live TV on their 3G devices till December 10.

To avail the free Live Cricket on your phone, Tata Docomo subscribers will have to subscribe to the Rs 30 weekly pack which is on an auto-renewable mode. Users will be moved to the Rs 30 Weekly plan only after the completion of Free 10 Hours or on 11th Dec. This offer can be availed on any or all one-days on 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th Dec. The start date of the offer is 1st December 2010 and the end date is 10th December 2010.

To download the Mobile TV app and avail the offer, users have send TV to 53333 (Toll Free).

Western Digital Launches The WD TV Live Plus HD Media Player With Netflix Integration

Western Digital the leader in providing storage solutions today announced the WD TV Live Plus HD media player. The WD TV Live Plus has Netflix support integrated into it. Netflix users can watch thousands of movies and TV episodes on their TV, thanks to the WD TV Live Plus.

WD

“Netflix has become a ‘must have’ for consumer electronics devices,” said Netflix vice president of business development Bill Holmes. “We’re proud to align with WD to include Netflix on WD’s groundbreaking WD TV Live Plus HD media player.”

The WD TV Live Plus media player features full-HD 1080p video playback. The device also packs in an Ethernet port, and two USB ports. The device can also be connected to your wireless network, with the USB wireless adapter sold separately. Thanks to the USB ports, the WD TV can playback videos from external storage devices plugged into them. It can also store videos in an external hard disk or USB drive.

The device also has an HDMI 1.3 port, and a SPDIF digital output port. The WD TV Live Plus HD media player is available effective immediately at selected retailers having a MSRP of $149.99.

Watch 55th Filmfare Awards 2010 Online

The Filmfare Awards are presented annually by the Times Group to honor the technical, artistic and other aspects of Hindi cinema and filmmaking. Originally instituted in 1954, the Filmfare Award was reader-based where readers of the Filmfare magazine polled for the best actor, actress, film, director and music director. What started off as a magazine-based ceremony with only five awards has blossomed into the star-filled and glittering show of today with thirty-one categories for awards. The 55th Annual Filmfare Awards honoring movies released between 2009-10 will be presented on the 27th of February, 2010 from 9PM IST onwards at Yash Raj Studios, Mumbai.

Filmfare Awards

Hosted by Saif Ali Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, this year’s Filmfare ceremony is going to be as big as ever!

This year’s contenders are pretty big, with names like Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D, Rajkumar Hirani’s Three Idiots and Vishal Bharadwaj’s Kaminey lining up for Best Director, Film and other honors. Ranbir Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor seem to be the hot favorites this year with two nominations each and might as well carry at least one award back home. The nominations are quite varied, although Three Idiots seems to have quite a lot of mentions as does Kaminey. I am sure all of you have your personal favorites, but how will you watch this glitz-filled evening if your significant other is busy watching a serial or a match?

Watch the entire thing online, of course! Zoom TV, Indiatimes’ own channel has a live TV feed that has recently been put up. The TV feed has a lag of about thirty seconds against the main stream that comes to the TV, but we can live with that, I’m sure! An alternative is the special Indiatimes website set up for the 55th Filmfare Awards. This is an exclusive site for the awards ceremony only and will begin broadcasting when the ceremony starts.

So who are your favorites for this year’s Filmfare? Do let us know in the comments!

How To Watch US Open Tennis Live Online For Free?

US Open is just around the corner and it is going to be a exciting one considering that Federer is back in full form. US Open will start on August 31st 2009 and no the arena and TV are not the only two places you can watch the matches.

us_open_roger_federrer

There are several ways in which you can watch US open tennis matches online, we will keep updating this list so you can watch US open tennis online even if one of the streams is not working.

Websites to Watch US Open Live Online

More streams and live videos will be added to the list as we come across them, if you have any to share, feel free to leave them in your comments.