Best TV Apps for iPhone / iPad

recent developments by the Cable companies are a sign that might soon change. So let’s go through a list with a few reviews: Individual Stations Al Jazeera English Live – Livestation — (Traditional Broadcaster) — AJE is an international news service that has really made a name for itself during the Arab revolutions of 2011. While it is still criticized by some in the West for ‘biased’ reporting on issues such as the US invasion of Iraq and the Arab-Israeli peace process, AJE has established itself internationally as a major player in the international news community. AJE is now viewable on cable TV in most parts of the US (due to the aforementioned controversy) but their iPhone app is a must have for any news afficiando. AJE has really gone to great lengths to get their voice out on non-traditional communication’s channels such as mobile phones, the Internet, and streaming media players like the Roku FRANCE 24 – France 24 (Traditional Broadcaster) — France 24 is France’s answer to CNN and the BBC World Service. Broadcasting from Paris in English and French, France 24 offers a European take on the international news and is definitely worth adding to your iPhone collection. DW–(Traditional Broadcaster)–Deutsche Welle is the German international broadcaster offering a mix of English and German programming throughout the day (often the same exact show just in different languages). Streams and podcasts of their programs are available through this app. CCTV (CNTV) — (Traditional Broadcaster) — CCTV is the Chinese state broadcaster offering a wide variety of programming from sports to those long episodic soap operas. They have an English-language service but this app gives you access to a wide variety of the official government programs from China. NHK WORLD TV Live – NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) (Traditional Broadcaster)–Made far more relevant by the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, NHK World’s iPhone app gives you English-language programming from Japan. Sometimes you get an HD quality stream too. SKY TG24 — (Traditional Broadcaster) — This is a Turkish broadcaster broadcasting in Turkish news and other programming from Turkey. I haven’t watched it very much but the production quality looks rather professional. AJE Sports — (Traditional Broadcaster) — Al Jazeera has a full time sports programming which includes quite a few soccer matches from middle eastern nations. Occasionally they’ll have some other sports programming but generally you’ll see football most of the time. BFM–(Traditional Broadcaster – French). This is a 24-hour news channel based in France with a worldwide satellite audience. The coverage tends to be about French news and France or EU-related Collators TVU Player iPad icon (Lite and Full) This is one of my most important apps as it gives me access to literally 100s of traditional broadcasters from around the world. You won’t find BBC or CNN in there [ usually 😉 ] but there is plenty on this app to keep you occupied. If you are a sports fan, particularly a soccer fan, than this app is a must have. They carry a number of matches from around the world on this app and you’ll have plenty of content to keep you busy. They also have some movie channels airing some copyright expired movies. PPTV is another good app, eventhough most of the instructions are in Chinese. Originally I thought there were some live channels but on further inspection it appears most of it is ‘on demand’ movies, some of which you kind of wonder ‘do they really have the re-broadcast rights for this’? American and European movies along with tons of Chinese films are found throughout this app. ELTA TV This is a Taiwanese app that has a number of pre-recorded programs, but occasionally has some sporting highlights from the NBA or MLB. W.TV iPad icon–This one is wild. It has all sorts of content, of questionable copyright, filling it’s directory of live and on demand movie programs. It’s in Chinese, but not all the movies are Chinese–some are still in the theaters in the USA. Livestation (Web) This is one of my favorite websites for watching television. I strongly recommend their mobile site, as a bookmark on your homescreen as they offer a number of channels in iPhone and iPad compatible streams. Euronews is on this channel, something I watch frequently to get the EU perspective on things. Internet Only TWiT – ShiftKeySoftware–This week in Tech is a great app with great tech-related content. It’s also a massive warning shot to any traditional broadcaster. Leo Laporte and his crew have patched together ‘a tv station’ with not much more than a lot of bandwidth and a number of TV cameras. They broadcast daily, live and then stream repeats throughout the night. I would love to emulate this model with other content–just have to buy some nice bandwidth and get started. Maybe next week. Oh man this list is going to be long. I think I’m going to have to take a break before it gets out of control… Here are a few others worth investigating on your own: YUPPTV–Indian programming RAYV TV–Random TV channels MOSS–Random TV channels (a few good ones too) I.TV–Links to some streams SPB.TV–Some German or French channel. netTV Lite–Random TV channels, paid version has more interesting bits. MobiTV–Works in the US. Subscription model. GrandLille TV–French Channel. Xfinity TV–Comcast app. Works in the USA We Stream–Random TV channels Zappo TV–Random TV channels MTS TV–Random TV channels SMC TV–Chinese channels Infinity TV–Random TV channels On Air Live–Random stuff Tai Seng–TONS of Hong Kong dramas and movies on demand. UStream–Random TV and user channels JustinTV–Random TV and user channels ]]>

Doctor Who toys announced

Yea baby, that’s why I had kids in the first place. So I could buy toys without looking like an overgrown dork. Anyway, the BBC has announced a new range of Lego-like/Playmobil-like Doctor Who toys. I’ll probably get a few for the kids eventhough it will be years before they actually watch some of the episodes (the episode Blink with the statutes = scary). Not sure when they’ll come to Hong Kong. Guess I’ll have to order online if I want them sooner.]]>

BAA spokesman doesn't inspire snow removal confidence like George Kennedy did…

So I was watching BBC this morning and the British Airport Authority spokesman (who is basically being tortured this weekend) was on talking about efforts to remove the snow and how tough it was and how they were doing all that they could, etc. Here is a picture of him. Ok, now here is a picture of George Kennedy in the movie Airport.  He’s busy clearing a stuck 707 from a runway before a bomb-damaged aircraft comes in for an emergency landing. Do you see where I’m going with this?  I think the British guy needs a crew cut, a baseball cap and a cigar if he wants to convince people that “we’re doing all that we can”.  Get him in a parka and demand all TV interviews be done live from the tarmac in the middle of a blizzard. Appearances count in public relations. bonus:  Clear that Runway! ]]>

Download Youtube videos via Safari Extension By far one of the most exciting is the Youtube downloader extension that lets you save a local copy of the content you are watching on Youtube. Quite a bit of fun. It’s on that list at the bottom of the page. note: many people have reported problems with Safari 5 so you may want to wait until version 5.1 is available and sorts out some of the issues. ]]>

NBC Coverage of the Vancouver Olympics: More coverage with less staff

[/caption] “NBC sucks” is a constant drone you hear each and every Olympics.  “They didn’t show enough of the Tajikistan entrance, ergo they are biased against Tajikstan” and other silliness often is heard on the messageboards and other sites (and no, I’m not kidding about the Tajik reference–it happens). So now that we’re done with that, let’s talk about some real live numbers behind this year’s Olympics. NBC is going to have 835 hours of coverage across multiple platforms (and I believe that includes online coverage as well).  This is way up from the 419 hours of Torino coverage in 2006, and 375.5 hours in 2002 Salt Lake City.  It will also be the first Olympics produced entirely in HD (though my local WRC coverage got messed up last night due to a glitch with Comcast that I had, so I watched most of the Opening Ceremony in Standard Definition.  How 2003 was that?) NBC is doing all this coverage with a significantly lower staff this year.  2168 employees which is down from the 2,768 they sent to Torino and 3,260 in Salt Lake.  You would figure more advanced technology might require more personnel, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. But if you really want to get into the technical bits of the coverage, you need to read this amazing piece in BroadcastingCable magazine that goes into some massive details, such as What type of Cameras are they using for Vancouver?

NBCU will use more than 100 cameras, all equipped with Canon lenses, to supplement OBS’ coverage. They include Sony HDC-1400, -1500 and -3300 units, and for ENG applications, Sony’s new PDW-F800 XDCAM HD optical-disc camcorders.
Um, ok.  It also goes into some details about how the streams are being processed directly in Vancouver instead of backhauled to their HQ and redone there (as they had to do with the China Olympics). Anyway, it’s a pretty interesting article if you like technical details of television sports broadcasting.]]>