Things are looking good for YouTube to remain accessible on Fire TV devices next year. Google has told The Verge, and multiple other news outlets, that they are in “productive discussions with Amazon to reach an agreement for the benefit of our mutual customers.” Read more ›
I’m hopeful that Amazon and Google will come to an agreement that keeps the current YouTube app for Fire TV devices functioning before Google actually blocks access on January 1st, 2018. Amazon’s official statement on the matter ends with “we hope to resolve this with Google as soon as possible,” so they’re hopeful as well. If Google does block YouTube on the Fire TV, I’m confident that there will be ways to bypass the block and continue watching YouTube videos on Fire TV devices. Read more ›
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Now that Google has decided to block access to YouTube on the Fire TV starting next year, there are many heated discussions about who’s to blame, Amazon or Google, for this mess. I’m not here to point fingers, but I do want to clear up something that many arguers are getting wrong. The YouTube app for Fire TV devices is made by Amazon, not Google. That is a very important distinction that highlights how far Google is going to combat Amazon and hurt consumers in the process. Read more ›
Amazon and Google have been at odds for years. Their clash has reached a new level today. Google has issued a statement announcing that the company was pulling support for YouTube on the Amazon Echo Show immediately and will pull support for YouTube on Amazon Fire TV devices on January 1st, 2018. Read more ›
If the uncovered Silk browser for Fire TV is any indication, Amazon will enable voice input for Fire TV apps in the future. That might still be a long time away, so in the mean time, Amazon has made voice search possible for one of the most popular apps. With the new 18.104.22.168 software update, you can now use voice search to search YouTube on the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Read more ›
Google’s video site has unveiled YouTube TV, an upcoming streaming TV service to compete with Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, and others. YouTube TV will launch this Spring “in the largest U.S. markets” with a base package of 44 channels for $35 per month. Read more ›
YouTube just rolled out a new feature that pushes the platform even further into the realm of being a full blown social network. Called simply the “Community Tab,” the new feature allows YouTube channels to post not only videos, but also images, gifs, links, and text. Posts will appear in a subscriber’s stream of content alongside new videos, which essentially turns the subscription feed into a news feed like you find on social networks. Users can thumbs up/down and comment on posts, again, much like you do on Facebook. Right now the community tab is only available to specific channels that have been invited to have early access. Updated YouTube apps will be rolling out that let you select whether you want to see just videos in your subscription stream or videos and posts.
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The landscape of streaming video is constantly shifting, with the major players constantly going after each others established markets. Amazon Video, which primarily offers big-budget content, has started dipping its toes into YouTube’s pool of self-submitted content, so it was inivetiable that YouTube would return the gesture. When YouTube Red first launched, it’s primary value proposition was ad-free YouTube, coupled with a streaming music service. Now the New York Times is reporting that YouTube Red has picked up it’s first big-budget television series. The show will be based on the movie Step Up and share the same name. Lionsgate will produce a 10-episode season, to be made available exclusively to YouTube Red subscribers. This marks YouTube’s first foray into original programming, an area dominated by the likes of Netflix and Amazon.
On the other side of the streaming landscape, BitTorrent has launched a new streaming service called BitTorrent Now, aimed at taking a piece of YouTube’s pie of ad-supported streaming content. BitTorrent Now will arrive in the form of phone, tablet, and TV apps that stream music and video using BitTorrent’s file sharing technology. Artists and content creators will be able to make their work available on the platform for free with ads or by requiring a payment. An Android app is already available, with an iOS and Apple TV app coming soon. BitTorrent says apps for other platforms will follow, so hopefully we’ll see a Fire TV app released shortly.
Ever since the Fire TV 2 first launched, its 4K capabilities have been limited to video playback. Apps like Netflix display their interface at 1080p to take advantage of the 60fps framerate, which results in a smoother navigation experience, while switching to 4K only when a video is played. This is because 4K output on the Fire TV 2 is limited to 30fps, which could result in a stuttery feeling interface if it were used all the time for an app with many moving elements. It appears that, with the new 22.214.171.124 software update, developers can now choose to display their apps in 4K all the time if they wish. The newly updated YouTube app, which now supports 4K content, is the first Fire TV app to opt for an always-4K approach. Read more ›
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