YouTube TV Heads To Your….TV

YouTube TV is making its way into your living room, thanks to a new YouTube TV app for set-top boxes, smart TVs, and games consoles. This means you will now be able to watch YouTube TV on a screen larger than your smartphone, all from the comfort of your own armchair.

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In March 2017, YouTube announced YouTube TV. This new over-the-top service offers live TV streaming, a limitless cloud DVR, and YouTube Red content, all for $35/month. And now, months after launching on mobile, YouTube TV is invading your living room thanks to a new dedicated app.

YouTube TV Launches in Your Living Room

With more and more people cutting the cord every year, a number of different services are trying to fill void in people’s lives. One of which is YouTube TV, which boasts a basic package which buys you live content from major networks, plus sports and other content, all for just $35/month.

YouTube TV has, until now, been limited to mobile, desktop, and the Chromecast. However, YouTube is now launching a dedicated YouTube TV app for a range of living room hardware, including Android TV, Apple TV, the Xbox One, and Roku, as well as smart TVs from Samsung, Sony, and LG.

YouTube TV Gets Its Own Dedicated Television App new youtube tv app screenshot

The dedicated YouTube TV app for living room devices is a little different than the existing apps. The user interface has been made for leanback viewing, there’s a better programming guide, and there’s the option to flick through the menu while content continues playing in the background.

If you can’t find the YouTube TV app for your living room hardware of choice don’t despair. YouTube is starting with Android TV and Xbox, before moving onto other devices. It should be available on most hardware by the end of the year, with the exception of the Amazon Fire TV.

When it comes streaming media, YouTube TV isn’t the only game in town. Sling TV, DirecTV Now, and PlayStation Vue are also trying to get the cord cutters business.

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Watching Star Trek: Discovery Offline

With Star Trek: Discovery now airing exclusively on CBS All Access I was trying to find  way to be able to download the episodes so I can view them while flying. Unlike Netflix & Amazon Video CBS All Access does not (yet) have a watch offline feature. However – in the meantime…

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It looks like will there is a will – there is a way, even if it will cost a few bucks.

Streaming your favorite shows on a spotty internet connection can be quite the nuisance – but it doesn’t have to be. There is a handy app that lets you save any show for offline watching and the best thing is that it works with practically any streaming service, including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO and thank goodness CBS All Access.

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Available for Android and iOS, PlayOn Cloud makes it possible for users to record and download titles from a variety of leading streaming services, so they could still binge their favorite shows once they go offline – anytime and anywhere.

In addition to the previously mentioned content providers, the app also supports downloads from YouTube, Yahoo Views, CBS, PBS, CW, ABC, NBC and Fox.

The only downside is that you will have to pay for this privilege. PlayOn’s iOS and Android apps are free, but the company will charge $0.99 for each recording. The good thing is that PlayOn also offers various recording packs and bundles for as low as $0.20 a pop. You can look up pricing details here. I paid $4.99 for 20 episode downloads which should all me to watch Discovery’s Season 1 offline – no matter where I am, regardless of access to the internet!  You must, of course be a subscriber to CBS-All Access to access their content through PlayOn Cloud.

Considering that each recording is stored in the cloud – and therefore available to download locally on any device using the same PlayOn account – it’s not such a bad deal.

One thing to keep in mind is that Netflix already rolled out support for offline viewing for mobile last year. The disadvantage is that not every entry in its catalog is available to stream offline. Another upside to using PlayOn is that, unlike Netflix, downloaded recordings never expire – unless the user deletes them, of course.

Yes, recordings stored on the cloud will be deleted after 30 days, but they will still be available on your device locally.

For those wondering about the app’s legality: The PlayOn team claims their software is entirely “legal and protected by the same laws that allow consumers to use a DVR or VCR to record broadcast content.” They have explained this in more detail in a blog post on their website.

In all fairness, PlayOn Cloud has been around for a while now. But should you find yourself planning a faraway trip without any guarantees for a stable connection, now at least you know you have options to keep yourself entertained.

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Star Trek: Discovery Premiers Tonight

“Star Trek: Discovery” on CBS All Access is almost here. The newest series of the Star Trek franchise is a prequel that takes place about a decade before the five-year mission of the original 1960s “Star Trek.” “Star Trek: Discovery” is also set in the timeline of the original series, not that of the new films by J.J. Abrams. Here’s what you need to know to watch the new Star Trek show.

Star Trek: Discovery
Here are all the details on how to watch the premiere of “Star Trek: Discovery.” After Sunday, Sept. 24, all episodes will air exclusively on CBS All Access each Sunday.

Date: Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET/PT, 7:30 p.m. CT (time approximate following NFL football and “60 Minutes”)
On TV: Watch the premiere on CBS, check your local listings
Online: Watch the premiere and the second episode on CBS All Access

Star Trek: Discovery story
Star Trek: Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green of “The Walking Dead” as First Officer Michael Burnham. Michael is the first human to attend the Vulcan Science Academy, and the series starts with her serving as the first officer of the USS Shenzhou, helmed by Michelle Yeoh’s Captain Philippa Georgiou. She ends up serving on the USS Discovery under Captain Gabriel Lorca, played by Jason Isaacs, instead.

A special broadcast premiere of “Star Trek: Discovery” will tonight at 8:30 p.m on CBS. Immediately after the first episode airs on CBS, the second episode will be available exclusively on CBS All Access.

After premiere night, new episodes will only be available on CBS All Access each Sunday.

What is CBS All Access
CBS All Access is available on your mobile device, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV, PS4, Xbox or Windows 10. If you don’t have CBS All Access already, you can watch “Star Trek: Discovery” with a free, one-week trial.

How to sign up for CBS All Access
Signing up is easy. You simply browse over to the CBS All Access landing page and pick the plan you want to purchase. The seven-day free trial available for new customers only.

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How to Watch Star Trek: Discovery

With Star Trek: Discovery set to premier in a few days countless people have asked me “how do I watch the new Star Trek”? This is a great question because CBS is hoping to move away from traditional TV with Trek paving the way.

This is not the first time Star Trek has introduced the audience to new ways of obtaining our entertainment. Lets take a look at what I am talking about.

  • The Original Series – When TOS hit syndication (1970’s) it quickly became the most watched series in Syndication (except for possibly “I Love Lucy”) history and led to the modern rebirth of the franchise.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation – TNG did not air on a network, but “first run syndication”. This was the first large scale TV series to do so and it’s success led to an onslaught of TV shows following suit, including “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”.
  • Star Trek: Voyager – Paramount launched their network, UPN in 1995 with the series premier of Voyager.

So there you go – Star Trek has often led the way with how we view TV and with Discovery CBS is hoping to do it again.


So you are still not sure how and where to watch Star Trek: Discovery? You’re not alone. I have broken down all the info into a guide to help you find out where and when to watch.

Discovery starts with a special 2-part (2 episode) premiere and will run for a total of 15 episodes for the first season. The season will be broken into two parts with a break starting November and scheduled to pick up again in January 2018.

Outside of the USA, Star Trek: Discovery will air on Netflix, except for Canada where it will be broadcast on CTV while in the states it runs exclusively on CBS All Access.

USA: Discovery premieres Sunday, Sept. 24 on CBS All Access

In the United States Star Trek: Discovery is an exclusive original show for the CBS All Access streaming service and premieres Sunday, September 24th.

  • The first episode (Part 1 of the two-hour premiere) will be available on CBS All Access at 8:30PM ET.
  • The second episode (Part 2) will be available exclusively on CBS All Access at 9:30PM.

Subsequent episodes will be available at 8:30PM ET / 5:30PM PT starting Sunday, October 1st.

This streaming service from CBS costs $5.99 per month to subscribe ($9.99 without commercials). CBS All Access includes access to more than 9,000 episodes on demand – spanning current primetime, daytime and late night CBS series, as well as past seasons of select series and classic TV shows, including every episode of every Star Trek TV series.

You can watch CBS All Access on your computer, mobile devices, gaming devices and streaming devices. For more see TrekMovie’s buyer’s guide to CBS All Access devices. To subscribe CLICK HERE(with free trial).

CBS broadcast of Part 1 of premiere: In order to promote Star Trek: Discovery the first episode of the show (Part 1 of the 2-hour premiere) will be broadcast on the CBS Television Network on the same night as it is released on CBS All Access. To watch, tune in Sunday, September 24 at 8:30-9:30 PM, ET/PT (time approximate following NFL Football and 60 Minutes). To see part 2 of the pilot or any other episodes, you will have to subscribe to CBS All Access.

Buyer’s Guide To Streaming ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ On A Budget

One of the biggest challenges about Star Trek: Discovery for people in the U.S. is that it is exclusively available on the  CBS All Access  streaming service. With only around 1.5 million subscribers, it is likely that most fans will be signing up for the service for the first time. So the question is, how can you watch the show?

Are you already Discovery-ready?

The CBS app is available on Android and iOS, so you can certainly watch it on your phone or tablet screen easily, as well as on your computer through the CBS website. But Star Trek: Discovery is a show that is being promoted as ‘big’ and ‘cinematic,’ so you’ll probably want to watch it on your TV. “How do I do that?” you might ask. We’re here to tell you.

Star Trek: Discovery should be watched on a big screen

You may already have a device that is ready for CBS All Access. If you’re a gamer, the CBS All Access app is available on the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One, and Xbox 360.  It’s also on any Android TV, including recent higher-end Sony smart TVs, which are CBSAA-ready. And many Vizio smart TVs from the last couple of years (E, M, or P series) have Google Chromecast built-in so they are also ready for you to use your smartphone or tablet to send the CBS All Access video stream to your TV.

If you have a dedicated streaming device such as a Google ChromecastRokuAmazon Fire TVApple TV, or Android TV, XBOX then you, are ready for CBS All Access.

All Access supported devices

 

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Star Trek’s Voyager Shines on Netflix

OK friends, we only have about 2 weeks until Star Trek: Discovery premiers on CBS All Access, and I am just a little excited about it. With that in mind, Netflix recently reported on the most streamed Star Trek re-watched episodes and the results surprised many of us.

There are nearly 700 episodes of Star Trek spread across five television series and you’d assume the best episodes would translate to the most re-watched, right? After all, usually the cream rises to the top. Or does it?

Netflix has just released their list of the ten most re-watched Star Trek episodes of all time, and frankly, many trekkers were left a little bit shocked by the results. Especially when you realize the finale episode of Voyager is the most re-watched Star Trek episode of all time on the streaming service, and not other, far more well regarded classics.

As a matter of fact, none of the original series episodes are among the most re-watched  and only four The Next Generation episodes are in the top ten! You can check out Netflix’s list of the top ten most re-watched Star Trek episodes in the graphic down below.

My personal favorite Trek series (after the original series, of course) is Star Trek: Voyager and it can lay claim to having the most revisited episode of all, its series finale. As it turns out, the first episodes of any Trek series are usually the most-watched, so in an effort to seek data beyond default behavior, the first two episodes from any first seasons were omitted from the data. Also, it should be noted that the Borg show up in seven out of ten episodes. People must really want to be assimilated.

Usually, after the introductory episodes of any of the first seasons, it’s episodes introducing well-known parts of Star Trek lore that tend to be rewatched the most. The Next Generation and The Original Series can claim the largest audiences on Netflix, but Voyager and Deep Space Nine fans are better repeat customers, more likely to return for their favorite episodes.

Why Star Trek Voyager has so many Re-watches?

Both the original show and TNG have excellent, upgraded (remastered) high definition Blu-rays, while neither Voyager or Deep Space Nine do not. If you’re a hardcore Trekker, you will probably watch the Original Series and Next Generation on Blu-ray before watching a more compressed streaming version.

As for Deep Space Nine & Voyager streaming is the best – most convenient way to re-visit those crews. As for Voyager being so well represented here as compared to Deep Space Nine lets remember that Voyager is much episodic while Deep Space Nine has huge story arches – meaning its much easier to grab a Voyager episode here & there while Deep Space Nine’s longer story arches makes that a little more problematic.

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Disney & CBS Look to Challange Netflix

Two major networks are looking to compete with Netflix and steal, at least part of their audience. First CBS announced it’s own streaming service with the launch of the new “Star Trek” TV series.

First You Have CBS

CBS is moving fast in the streaming channel arena, with plans to expand CBS All Access to Canada and other international markets by next year.

CBS is also working on the launch of a streaming sports channel patterned after its CBSN digital news service. The movement in the over the top (OTT) market comes as the CBS All Access and Showtime stand alone services are expected to exceed 4 million subscribers in total by the end of this year.

The sports channel is in the early stages of development and doesn’t yet have a name.

The decision by CBS to relaunch the “Star Trek” franchise on CBS All Access rather than on the CBS network or Showtime, or even to sell it to Netflix in the U.S., was a calculated decision to grow the streaming service. “Star Trek: Discovery” – the first new TV series in the “Trek” canon in 11 years, is set to premier on September 24. In an obvious effort to attract users to their new platform – through Star Trek – CBS will premier the first episode on their regular CBS network with the second episode (part 2 of a cliffhanger) airing immediately afterward – exclusively on CBS All Access. In other words if you want to keep watching the new Star Trek – sign up with CBS All Access.

As you can see by watching the quality of the “Star Trek: Discovery” trailer the mission of these networks to launch their own streaming service, with new & exciting content is no joke – and could, potentially be a boon for all of us.

Then You Have Disney

Disney has now officially announced that it’s making its own Netflix competitor, a streaming service that will air original Disney movies and TV shows. In addition Disney announced that it also plans to launch a second Netflix-like offering that will deliver sporting events.

It’s not surprising that Disney wants to directly compete with Netflix and other streaming services, given that more people opt to ditch traditional cable in favor of online entertainment.

The Disney TV streaming service will only launch in 2019, while the ESPN-based service would be available as soon as next year.

Disney also reported that it will terminate the licensing agreement for new titles beginning with the 2019 calendar year.

This means that post 2019 if you want to watch Disney movies and show you will need to subscribe to their exclusive channel.

What All of this Means

How we watch television is rapidly changing. Networks like ABC, CBS and NBC are trying to find ways to remain relevant in this ever changing landscape. Where commercial advertisements were once king now networks are looking to the audience to “subscribe” in order to watch the content they enjoy. At the same time, because of the success of pay-cable TV shows like “The Sopranos” and “Game of Thrones” audiences now expect much more from their television dramas. Commercial interruptions are a disaster to good TV – and the networks know this. We are well on the way to the extinction of relevant – free – over the air TV.

In fact so much has changed in the television landscape that Netflix is now almost seen as “old school” by networks like CBS and Disney. Ask yourself this question. Why should networks, with immense libraries of (old & loved) TV content and the resources to create new content sell to a “middle man” when they can create their own streaming services and reap 100% profits as opposed to sharing their earning with Netflix or Hulu.

The only question is can they do it – and be successful?

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Netflix’s Free Speed Test Arrives on iOS & Android

Does your Netflix service lag on your some times and buffer? Netflix has a little app that will help you find out if you are getting what you are paying for from your internet provider.

Netflix’s nifty little speed testing tool, Fast.com, is now available as a mobile app.

You can use the app to measure how fast your internet connection is at any given moment. Although it’s not very different than using just the website on your mobile browser, the one-tap shortcut might be handy for someone who’s constantly curious about their internet speed.

Netflix’s super simple speed test tool is now available on Android and iOS

Plus, the more often you use the app, the more information Netflix gets about the connections service providers offer to customers around the country. Alongside the app’s launch, Netflix also details in a blog post how it built fast.com. It’s a pretty long and technical post though, so read it slowly.

You can download the Fast app for free for both Android and iOS.

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Netflix Brings Us Fast.com

Netflix has just launched what is probably the simplest speed test on the Web. It’s called Fast.com

It’s incredibly minimal, and loads pretty much immediately, probably because there are no ads. It only measures your internet service provider’s (ISP) download speed, which it will present in huge digits after a few seconds of testing.

And that’s it. A frequently asked questions section explains that keeping the site minimal was a conscious choice:

Netflix does give you the option to compare your results with Speedtest.net, which provides detailed results on upload speeds, latency and other metrics as well. That’s a nice touch, given the companies aren’t affiliated at all – there’s isn’t even a link to Netflix proper.

This is obviously part of the Netflix’s continued battle against slow ISP speeds, and I would not be surprised to see links to Fast.com show up on the Netflix site and apps, especially when users are having connection problems.. The site ends its FAQ section fairly pointedly:

“If results from fast.com and other speed tests often show less speed than you have paid for, you can ask your ISP about the results.”

Will this help for consumers with slow ISP’s? I hope it at least helps shine a light on ISP’s who are proving slow connections to customers who are paying for faster speeds — and not getting it.

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Amazon Prime Gets Even Better

In many ways Amazon Prime has become my go-to streaming service. Of course Netflix has some outstanding original content (which I enjoy) however Amazon Prime has continued to regularly improve its service since it’s launch just a few short years ago.

Amazon Prime is the ultimate product bundling deal imaginable because it combines several service including physical free shipping digital subscriptions for music, videos, and more. This week Amazon took an aggressive step to better compete with standalone subscription services (like Netflix & Hulu) by offering a new variety of Prime offerings by the month.

I have happily subscribed to Amazon prime for years. With this subscription, you can get most Amazon.com purchases delivered to your home in two days for free plus an astonishing array of digital services, which include:

Amazon Video. Unlimited access to movies and TV shows in SD, HD, Ultra HD & HDR (where possible).

Amazon Prime Music. Unlimited streaming from Amazon’s music service, which includes ad-free and personalized radio stations. This is replace Apple Music & iTunes for me.

Free Kindle books. As a Prime subscriber, you get access to over 1 million Kindle e-books for free, plus the Kindle Lending Library, which lets you borrow one free e-book per month.

But the problem with Prime is that it is only available in a one-year subscription, whereas competing standalone services are all available month-to-month. To close this gap, and convince potential customers that the wide swath of Prime perks is worth consideration, Amazon is now offering two monthly Prime subscriptions. They are:

Amazon Prime (Monthly). This is the annual plan, but month-to-month. That is, you get all of the perks of the yearly Amazon Prime membership, but pay $10.99 per month instead of $99 per year. (So it’s cheaper to get the annual subscription if you can afford it and know you’ll use it all year long.)

Amazon Prime Video. Finally available as a standalone subscription service that can take on Netflix and Hulu, Amazon Prime Video costs $8.99 per month, undercutting those services when you compare functionality. Netflix costs $7.99 to $11.99 per month (where only the most expensive versions offers HD and or Ultra HD) and Hulu is $7.99 (with limited commercials) to $11.99 per month (no commercials).

prime-choices

If you go with the yearly Amazon Prime subscription, and then take advantage of the shipping perk, that is still the best choice. But this move with a monthly subscription service signals that Amazon is serious about keeping its digital media services both competitive and desirable.

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Twitter to Stream Live NFL Games This Season

Here is some big news for NFL fans. The NFL has picked Twitter to stream its Thursday night games.

When the league negotiated its latest deal for Thursdays, it decided to sell the streaming rights separately for an “over the top” broadcast. This past season, it partnered with Yahoo to stream a game from London that took place on a Sunday morning in the United States. This stream with Yahoo actually worked quite well as I used this to watch a game one Sunday morning while sitting at our Disney World resort so I have high hope that Twitter can do just as well. However this streaming deal does not include any Sunday football.

Only the 10 Thursday games on CBS and NBC will be streamed through Twitter under a one-year agreement, the NFL announced earlier today. The games will be free worldwide on all devices through the Twitter platform. Viewers will not need to be registered Twitter users.

The NFL Network-only Thursday games are not part of the deal.

The NFL wants to experiment with digital broadcasts to see how they might fit into future strategies. In the meantime, this also offers a new revenue source with digital companies eager to get involved in live sports.

So far, the audience for NFL streams has been significantly smaller than that for traditional television. This should not be surprising, but given time these numbers will grow. The Yahoo broadcast of the Bills-Jaguars game from London in October averaged a worldwide audience of about 2.4 million. A Jets-Dolphins matchup from London earlier that month, which started at the same time, averaged more than quadruple that in the U.S. alone with 9.9 million viewers on CBS.

In 2016 and 2017, CBS and NBC will each air five games, which will be simulcast on NFL Network. Another eight will be exclusively on NFL Network.

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