Twenty years ago, if someone had told us we’d be streaming our favorite shows from the internet legally, we would have scoffed at them and disregarded it, never mind how the speed of broadband internet has changed the way we live our everyday lives. Roll on to the last couple of years, where media streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus have taken over and the days when we sat in front of the television flicking through 57 channels with nothing on are no more. Now there’s a whole host of entertainment right at the tap of a button, and we literally have to make no effort to leave our seats as these services take over our smartphones, tablets and electronic devices in a huge way.
But which service to pick? We’ve researched every possible choice out there, engaged in some elaborate hands-on testing, and narrowed down the extensive list to one reigning champion. If you look at the table below, it becomes fairly obvious that each media streaming service provider excels in some aspects but lags behind in others. By comparing each feature, it became much easier to narrow down the overall ultimate media service app.
This time on The CultCast: hipsters have beards installed; the mysterious life of Timothy Cook; exciting rumors around the new Jobs movie; Mavericks 10.9.2’s features and fixes; why you should install iOS 7.0.6 like, right now; Netflix pays off Comcast; and we’re too sexy for this podcast.
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Not many of us have 4K devices yet. A 4K Ultra HD TV would pack about 33 million pixels, more than six times the resolution of even the MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
Yet 4K is coming, and when it drops, Netflix CEO Reed Hasting doesn’t want his service to be caught with its pants down, saying during a recent earnings call that he hopes his company will be “one of the big suppliers” of 4K by the time it launches in 2014.
To make sure they’re ready for the crush of 4K Ultra HD TVs next year, Netflix is already streaming some 4K content.
Netflix 5 brings HD video and AirPlay to iPads running iOS 7. You may have thought you had HD video streaming to your retina iPad, but you didn’t. 5 fixes that, and it also lets you throw your TV shows and movies up onto your big screen via Apple TV with native AirPlay streaming.
The Netflix app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch has been updated to bring high-definition video streaming to devices running iOS 7. The release also adds support for AirPlay, and some improvements and optimizations that make the app more stable under Apple’s latest software.
Amazon has added AirPlay support to its popular video streaming app – Amazon Instant Video. Starting today, the new feature allows iOS users to push video from their iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad to the Apple TV. Not quite as good as having an Amazon Instant Video channel on the Apple TV, but the move is sure to satisfy Amazon Prime users for the time being.
The update also includes more IMDB integration with cast info, ratings, trivia and quotes. Amazon also says the updated app is faster, more responsive and now supports concurrent downloads. There’s also a new “Customers who watched this also watched…” feature to help users discover more movies and spend more time and money on Amazon. The free update is available now in the App Store.
Apple has acquired Matcha, a second-screen video search and recommendation service that was recently closed, for a fee believed to be between $1 million and $1.5 million.
Matcha was previously available as an iOS app, and it allowed users to get an overview of everything they could watch on a variety of cable TV networks and video-streaming services. But the service was closed back in May as it focused on a new direction — one which will now be controlled by Apple.