jbaumgartner's blog

Walmart Unit Buys into VR

Walmart is apparently raising its virtual reality (VR) game a bit as Store No 9, the retailing giant’s innovation hub, moves ahead with the acquisition of a startup called Spatialand.

Walmart and Spatialand aren’t strangers, as they worked together last year to create a proof of concept virtual reality experience that took a stab at the future of shopping during the Innov8 VR event. 

Tablo App Targets Tizen OS

Extending its reach to a key smart TV platform, Nuvyyo, the company behind the Tablo-branded over-the-air DVRs for cord-cutters, has launched a native app for Samsung smart TVs that are powered by the Tizen operating system.

RELATED: Nuvyyo Cuts Price on Tablo Dual

TiVo to Let Users Skip the Game, Watch the Commercials

Under normal circumstances, many consume try to avoid TV commercials. Normalcy will again be removed this Sunday when the New England Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII, as it’s one of the few times that there’s a lot more attention paid to those super-expensive spots.

AT&T and Mobile 5G: The ‘Puck’ Starts Here

AT&T is preparing to launch “mobile” 5G service by the end of 2018 in about a dozen markets, but the initial deployment won’t involve direct integration with laptops, smartphones or tablets.

Rather, AT&T will initially lean on a small router-like device that can connect other devices to the 5G network.

“Think of this as a puck,” Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chairman, president and CEO, explained Wednesday (January 31) on the company’s Q4 earnings call.

VRV Tightens Ties to the TV

VRV, Ellation’s SVOD aggregation service, is broadening its support for TV-connected platforms. 

Though mobile access still remains important, VRV said it has added support for Amazon Fire TV and Android TV devices.

That expands on existing integration with iOS and Android mobile devices, web browsers, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles, Chromecast streaming adapters, and newer-generation Roku devices.

Comcast Lets Subs Kick Tires on FX+

Looking to spur interest in FX+, Comcast recently ran a free preview weekend of the advertising-free offering, which runs $5.99 per month for a library of more than 1,000 episodes.

Comcast and FX Networks launched FX+ last September, joining other recently added commercial-free, subscription services that include AMC Premiere, which runs $4.99 per month.

Virgin Media Accelerates Rollout of TiVo-Powered V6 Box

Virgin Media, Liberty Global’s U.K.-based MSO, is hitting the gas on the V6, a new 4K-capable flagship video device introduced in November 2016 that is powered by TiVo’s software and services platform and built by Arris.

RELATED: Virgin Media Rejuvenates Video Platform 

Hulu Has 450K Live TV Subs, YouTube TV Notches 300K: Report

Two OTT TV services launches last year -- YouTube TV and one from Hulu – have combined to sign up about 750,000 subscribers, according to CNBC.

Verizon Noodling Standalone Apps for OTT TV Service: Report

The market for OTT TV services has become crowded, making it increasingly difficult for new entrants to differentiate and somehow stand alone. 

Verizon Communications’s OTT-delivered pay TV service is delayed and not expected to emerge until this spring at the earliest as it hammers out distribution deals and refines its strategy amid recent executive changes.

CES 2018: Vewd Tunes in Smart TV OS

Thanks in part to Google’s Android TV, Roku and platforms from Samsung and LG Electronics, the market for smart TV operating systems is already pretty crowded. Vewd apparently thinks there’s room for at least one more.

Read More: Complete coverage of #CES2018