Dave Zatz points to leaked data that suggests new versions or the Roku 2 and Roku 3
could be just weeks away, according to data from the FCC's website
. The revised devices also appear to have arrived early on Best Buy's Canadian website
, suggesting some relatively minor cosmetic changes to the devices and potentially a small boost in processing power. The biggest changes appear to do with the device remotes; the Roku 2 remote will lose its current headphone port, and the Roku 3 remote will feature quick launch buttons for YouTube and Google Play.
"I imagine the prices are off, given prerelease timing and exchange rates, and I wouldn’t recommend pre-ordering from these guys given our limited information," notes Zatz. "But expected availability of April 13th or so, according to Best Buy, seems quite possible."
There's still no word on a 4K-capable (and bandwidth hungry) Roku 4.
The company at CES stated they were first offering 4K capabilities
as a reference design to be included in select smart TV internals. With 4K standards still in flux
, it appears that Roku's not in any particular rush, though they'd probably like to beat Apple (and Apple TV) to the 4K spec just for bragging rights. Of course 4K in time is going to require HDCP 2.2 copy protection, and with most audio receivers incapable of either 4K or HDCP 2.2 (not to mention the dearth of actual 4K content), Roku and Apple still have plenty of time to meet demand.
Many long-time readers may remember Craig Moffett, a former Sanford Bernstein Wall Street analyst that made a name for himself often being quite wrong about things, whether that involved maligning network upgrades
, declaring sectors like wireless were on the precipice of collapse
, or heralding usage caps as the "next generation of communications
." Moffett also was at the forefront of denying that cord cutting was real, and when he could be bothered to acknowledge the trend he tried to insist these users were unemployed nobodies living in their parents basements
This is only brought up because Moffett, now at his own firm, has taken a complete 180 on cord cutting
in recent months, consistently pointing out that cord cutters and "cord nevers" are consistently a growing part of the market
and tend to be young, educated, and gainfully employed.
Earlier this month reports began to emerge suggesting that Charter Communications would be buying Bright House Networks
. The deal appears to be a consolation prize for the company after it was outbid on an attempt to acquire Time Warner Cable by Comcast.
T-Mobile's generally seen as having a weak wireless broadband coverage footprint, and the "uncarrier" is hoping to do something about that with a new crowdsourced coverage map
. In a blog post
, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray says the company has significantly reworked its data coverage maps to include data from outside firms and users themselves.
Many Dodgers Fans in Los Angeles still can't watch their favorite team on cable because the team's channel, co-owned by Time Warner Cable, continues to refuse to seriously negotiate with other pay TV providers in the region. Time Warner Cable raised rates on competing pay TV providers last year
, and competitors like AT&T, DirecTV and other balked at the company's rumored $5 per subscriber asking price for the channel.
As we recently noted in great detail
, while 4KTV isn't quite the hype monster 3DTV was, there's a litany of reasons that users shouldn't upgrade to 4K yet -- ranging from the lack of HDCP 2.2 and true HDMI 2.0 compatible receivers, to the uncemented standards related to technologies like HDR. The biggest impedement of course remains the lack of 4K content, with most broadcasters many years away from offering any meaningful volume of 4K content, and most set top players (like Roku or Apple TV) not even supporting 4K yet.
AT&T's deployment of its faster 1 Gbps "Gigapower" service continued this week with the announcement that the company is now offering the speedy option in parts of Apple's hometown of Cuppertino, California. According to the company's announcement
, the service should be available to order today -- though AT&T doesn't specifically note which parts of Cupertino will be getting the service.
Since the company acquired Verizon's FiOS customers in the Pacific Northwest and Indiana (and now Texas, Florida and California
), Frontier has made it pretty clear -- just as Verizon did
-- they have neither the money or willpower to expand this acquired fiber to the home footprint any further. In fact, it wasn't even clear the company wanted to continue to offer TV service to those users
, if the massive out-of-the gate hikes Pacific Northwest customers saw were any indication.
The Denver Post
notes that Google Fiber has filed a business registration with the Colorado secretary of state. For what it's worth, Google Fiber says this doesn't necessarily mean that Denver will ultimately become a Google Fiber launch location. "We don't have any current plans to expand to additional cities beyond our current potential Fiber cities," Google said in a statement. "We love that people are excited about Fiber, but we have to start somewhere — we have a lot of work to do before we can talk about additional expansion plans." Last week the company added Salt Lake City
to its growing list of markets that include Raleigh/Durham, Charlotte, Nashville, Atlanta, Kansas City, Provo and Austin.
Some channels you think you're buying when you pay $20 a month for Dish's new Sling TV Internet video service, may not quite be the channels you thought they were. Reddit users recently discovered
that some of SlingTV's new channel additions, including A&E, Lifetime, and LMN network, included some shows that were blacked out. Dish confirms to TechHive
that some "select channels" may feature blacked out content but that "when possible, these channels will offer other programming in place of the restricted content." Just when you think broadcasters are loosening their licensing grip for Internet video...
Last October we reported on
a Price Waterhouse Coopers employee who claimed Comcast pressured his employer to fire him after he publicly criticized the company. Conal O’Rourke claimed he was billed $1,820 by Comcast for equipment he never asked for.
Back in October we noted that security researchers had discovered
that Verizon was injecting all of its wireless users' packets with a unique identifier header, or UIDH. Said UIDH displays user information about their online behavior and, despite Verizon's previous claims, can be utilized by any third party looking to build consumer profiles based on the data.
Airbus Defense and Space has announced
that DirecTV's new DirecTV 15 satellite has left the company's cleanrooms in France, and is headed to Kourou for a scheduled launch by Ariane 5 sometime in May. The additional capacity will be used to improve DirecTV's content lineup, including the company's slow-but-steady push toward 4K TV broadcasts
. Commercial 4K broadcasts aren't expected until sixty to ninety days after launch
, meaning users likely won't see DirecTV's first 4K broadcast offerings until late summer or early fall. DirecTV's CEO has made it clear
the failures of 3DTV has the company moving gingerly toward 4K implementation.
Contrary to mega ISP narratives, most data (whether from Akamai
, the FCC
, the the OECD
) shows that the United States is indisputably mediocre when it comes to broadband, whether that's penetration, speed, coverage or price. Some of that is courtesy of mammoth geographical size, but most of the issues with price or customer satisfaction can solely be blamed on a lack of meaningful competition in most markets.
Broadband-based humor is usually even more hit or miss than most April first fare, though today saw at least a few amusing efforts. Reddit's Technology subreddit
for example is now sponsored by Comcast, and a running Comcast PR department AMA
has a few choice moments of amusement.
Last year CenturyLink started offering 1 Gbps to a smattering of high-end development communities in places like Omaha and Las Vegas
, but has been pretty ambiguous about just how many users can get the service. Last August they stated they'd be offering 1 Gbps speeds in parts of sixteen cities
(including Seattle, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City), but again, specific build locations and total potential subscriber numbers have been nowhere to be seen.
Verizon this week proclaimed it's not particularly worried about efforts by Cablevision
to begin offering Wi-Fi calling services, insisting that the offers in no way seriously compete with the company's LTE offerings. Cablevision's $10 a month ($30 for non subscribers) Wi-Fi calling service doesn't feature cellular backup, making usefulness limited.
In October of last year, the FTC sued AT&T
for the company's now well-established war on the company's grandfathered unlimited data users. Specifically, the FTC accused AT&T of falsely claiming user connections were "unlimited," despite the fact these lines were throttled after as little as 2 GB Of usage.
Not only will HBO soon be available via a standalone HBO Now app, but HBO will also soon be a potential add on for Dish's Sling TV service. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal
, a new deal between Turner and Dish will allow the streaming service to sell HBO as a $15 service on top of SlingTV's $20 a month base package.
Sprint's long dark nightmare related to the company's botched acquisition of Nextel is finally over. Today the company agreed to a $131 million payout
to settle a lingering class action lawsuit related to the Nextel deal. The lawsuit claims Sprint, former CEO Gary Forsee and other executives "fraudulently inflated the company's stock and bond prices" between October 2006 and February 2008. Sprint execs repeatedly claimed that the deal was bolstering subscriber numbers and generating billions in ambiguous benefits, all while customers were actually fleeing the company in droves over the mishandled deal and subsequent botched integration of Nextel assets.
HBO's upcoming standalone streaming service HBO may offer notably more content than was expected. In addition to all of HBO's past and current content, reports suggest the upcoming $15 per month service may also include all Turner Networks content
from channels like TNT and TBS. Time Warner executives are also in discussion as to whether the service should include content from channels like Cartoon Network and its popular programming lineup within Adult Swim. HBO Go is expected to launch sometime ahead of the April 12 premier of the latest episode of HBO's hit series "Game of Thrones."
by Revcb 07:29AM Monday Mar 30 2015
by Revcb 06:39AM Wednesday Apr 01 2015