Here’s some great news for DIRECTV subscribers and fans of Oprah Winfrey. OWN is now available in High Definition (HD) on DIRECTV. Upcoming shows include “Iyanla: Fix My Life” (April 13), “Life With La Toya” (April 20), and “Raising Whitley” (April 20). OWN broadcasts in 1080i (HD) and can be found on DIRECTV Channel Ch. 279. OWN is also available in High Definition on DISH Network (Ch. 189), AT&T U-verse (Ch. 1170), and through select cable providers (check your local listings).
DIRECTV will be offering several free channel previews we thought you should know about. On Friday, April 12 through April 14 DIRECTV will be turning on premium movie channels STARZ and ENCORE for all subscribers. Blockbuster movies you might want to check out this weekend include The Amazing Spider-Man, Man in Black 3, and Hope Springs. DIRECTV will offer a combined 15 channels between the STARZ and ENCORE networks, with eight of those channels broadcast in HD quality. The premium channels are normally offered in the STARZ Super Pack service pack.
DISH Networks started a preview of MLB Network Strike Zone today. The free preview will run through Tuesday, April 23. MLB Network Strike Zone covers live games on Tuesdays and Fridays from 7 to 10 p.m. Eastern Time. During that time …
If you haven’t been paying attention DISH Network has recently launched several new channels and three of them are in High Definition. The channels come at no additional charge to those already subscribed to the corresponding packages. In HD, DISH added Pac-12 Network (Ch. 413) and MLB Network Strike Zone (Ch. 153) to the Multi-Sport package. (Pac-12 Network is also part the America’s Top 120 Plus in some areas.) Also in HD, DISH added Univision Deportes (Ch. 869) to the America’s Top 200, Plus, Dos, and Max packages. The channel provides Mexican Primera Division soccer matches as well as live coverage of FIFA events from 2012-2014. CORRECTION: International sports channel beIN SPORT (Ch. 392) is also available in HD. Thanks David!
Earlier this week AT&T announced a deal with Disney/ABC that gives U-verse subscribers access to Disney-branded channels via Apple iOS and Kindle Fire Android devices. The three Disney channels include WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD, and WATCH Disney Junior — all of which are available through their corresponding websites or via free downloadable apps. WATCH Disney content includes live programming as well as on demand episodes from shows such as “Shake It Up,” “Good Luck Charlie,” and “Phineas and Ferb.” U-verse customers need to be subscribed to those Disney channels, and can authenticate their subscriptions online or via mobile app.
Google has officially announced its fiber broadband service will be expanding to Austin, TX. Previously only available in areas of Kansas City (both in the states of Missouri and Kansas), the service offers customers up to one gigabit per second speed. Google says that’s about 100-times faster than the average broadband service offered today. Don’t hold your breath, however. Google says they’re expecting to roll out Fiber Internet and TV service to Austin by mid-2014.
At the same time Panasonic officially announced pricing and availability of their first lineup of streaming media players, the company also released pricing on their 2013 lineup of Blu-ray players. Two of the BD players, the DMP-BDT330 and DMP-BDT230, are brand new to the Panasonic line and support Full HD 3D. Panasonic also announced the DMP-BD89 and DMP-BD79, two 2D players also new to the lineup.
Panasonic has announced pricing and availability of their first line-up of streaming media players. The DMP-MST60 and DMP-MS10 are priced at $99.99 and $79.99, respectively. Available starting today, both players include built-in Wi-Fi and external HDD Playback, but the slightly higher priced MST60 (pictured above) is almost a no-brainer in terms of features. With the MST60 you’ll get VIERA Connect allowing the player to work with other VIERA-enabled devices such as Blu-ray players and Home Theater systems. The MST60 is 3D-capable, boasts 2D-3D conversion, and includes a web browser. An additional feature of the MST60 is Miracast, a mirroring technology that lets you transfer and display photos, music, video games, and videos from your Android smartphone and tablet directly to an HDTV. (Android version 4.2 or higher is required.)
Want to stream the men’s NCAA Final Four basketball game between Louisville and Michigan? If you’re away from your TV and want to watch the game on your tablet or smartphone, simply download the NCAA March Madness Live app. The app is available for Apple iPads, iPhones and iTouch devices with Apple iOS 5.0 or later, as well as for devices using Android 2.2 or later. The Apple iOS app is available on iTunes (42MB download), and the Android version is available on Google Play (14MB download).
Sony has announced pricing on their new XBR Ultra 4k HDTVs with LED display technology, and surprisingly the numbers are not all that outrageous. The Sony XBR-55X900A (55″) and XBR-65X900A (65″) 4K Ultra HDTVs will retail for $4,999 and $6,999 respectively, hitting stores later this month on April 21. If you want to play with the big boys, however, the 84″ set will still cost you a mere $24,999.
Some snobby tweets from a Microsoft leader stir up gamer rage.
Will Microsoft’s next Xbox (codenamed Durango) roll over Sony’s PlayStation 4 in terms of software development? Atari founder Nolan Bushnell seems to think so. In this new video (found on Gametrailers) Bushnell says Microsoft has a huge advantage over Sony in terms of ease-of-use for software developers, and superior online world experience. He goes on to talk about virtual reality and other new gaming technology, as well as the weaknesses of the Nintendo DS system. According to Bushnell “the days of the standalone portable game player are over,” citing iOS and Android platforms as the future.
DIRECTV has announced an exclusive six-channel mosaic will be used for the 2013 Masters Tournament. The Tournament, with combined coverage from CBS Sports and ESPN, will broadcast from April 11-14. DIRECTV’s ‘Masters Mosaic’ will combine six views of the Tournament: the main CBS Sports/ESPN feed; two “Featured Group” channels; “Amen Corner,” complete coverage of the most famous stretch of Augusta National; holes 15 and 16; and “Masters in Depth.” A interactive leader board will also display live tee times, scoring and leaders’ locations on the course, and allow access to hole-by-hole stats for each player. The satellite company will also air 3D coverage of the Tournament on ESPN 3D (Channel 106).
Netflix announced this week that all episodes for the fourth season of Arrested Development in HD will air on Sunday, May 26, 2013 at midnight (over Memorial Day weekend, needless to say).
Want to be successful on the internet these days? Try a niche. Warner Bros. has just done that with the launch of Archive Instant, an online library of classic TV shows and films from Warner Bros., MGM, Allied Artists and other studios. The service, which works much like Netflix and Redbox Instant, offers on-demand and unlimited streaming of titles to your PC or Roku player. A nice feature of Archive Instant is the availability of extra content (mainly theatrical trailers) added to some titles in the catalog.
PlayStation 3 owners finally get access to a premium television network with the launch of the EPIX app today. The movie network boasts blockbuster titles such as The Avengers, Skyfall, and The Hunger Games among the 3,000 films available to watch in HD quality. EPIX programming also includes documentaries, concerts, and comedy specials and boxing events.