Subject: General Tech | December 6, 2017 - 12:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amazon, google, Alexa, youtube
Google has decided that YouTube should not work as advertised on any Amazon devices, in retaliation to Amazon refusing to stream Amazon Prime Video over Google Cast nor sell Google devices online. Currently you will just be redirected to YouTube.com when you launch your app but Google is planning on blocking all access from Echo or Fire TV in the near future. None of us particularly care about Google and Amazon's relationship problems but sadly, similar to children whose parents are going through a divorce, we are the ones who suffer. These two companies have been at it for a while, The Register covers some of the highlights of their disfunctional relationship here.
"Google is trying to stop Amazon Echo Show devices from streaming YouTube videos – and from January, it will block Amazon’s Fire TVs from accessing the vid service, too."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Qualcomm’s Disruptive Technologies: 5G Gigabit LTE And The Return Of ARM-Based Windows PCs @ Techgage
- Macronix comes up with new 3D NAND structure @ Fudzilla
- Yahoo and Mozilla sue each other over Firefox Quantum's switch back to Google @ The Inquirer
- Tesla’s Gigafactory might be behind a global battery shortage @ Engadget
- Get ready for laptop-tab-smartphone threesomes from Microsoft, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Qualcomm @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | November 16, 2017 - 01:41 PM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: video, youtube, wolfenstein, vesa, scythe, phanteks, nvidia shield, nvidia, NVDIMM, micron, matebook, Huawei, fsp, ea, podcast
PC Perspective Podcast #476 - 11/16/17
Join us for discussion on Intel with AMD graphics, Raja's move to Intel, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano
Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg, Ken Addison
Program length: 1:44:19
0:03:40 PCPer Mailbag #17 - 11/10/2017
Week in Review:
0:06:15 Podcast 475 Recap
0:37:30 AD BREAK HelloFresh
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
YouTube TV for NVIDIA SHIELD
When YouTube TV first launched earlier this year, it had one huge factor in its favor compared to competing subscription streaming services: local channels. The service wasn't available everywhere, but in the markets where it was available, users were able to receive all of their major local networks. This factor, combined with its relatively low subscription price of $35 per month, immediately made YouTube TV one of the best streaming options, but it also had a downside: device support.
At launch YouTube TV was only available via the Chrome browser, iOS and Android, and newer Chromecast devices. There were no native apps for popular media devices like the Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV. But perhaps the most surprising omission was support for Android TV via devices like the NVIDIA SHIELD. Most of the PC Perspective staff personally use the SHIELD due to its raw power and capabilities, and the lack of YouTube TV support on Google's own media platform was disappointing.
Thankfully, Google recently addressed this omission and has finally brought a native YouTube TV app to the SHIELD with the SHIELD TV 6.1 Update.
YouTube Tries Everything
Back in March, Google-owned YouTube announced a new live TV streaming service called YouTube TV to compete with the likes of Sling, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, and upcoming offerings from Hulu, Amazon, and others. All these services aim to deliver curated bundles of channels aimed at cord cutters that run over the top of customer’s internet only connections as replacements for or in addition to cable television subscriptions. YouTube TV is the latest entrant to this market with the service only available in seven test markets currently, but it is off to a good start with a decent selection of content and features including both broadcast and cable channels, on demand media, and live and DVR viewing options. A responsive user interface and generous number of family sharing options (six account logins and three simultaneous streams) will need to be balanced by the requirement to watch ads (even on some DVR’ed shows) and the $35 per month cost.
YouTube TV was launched in 5 cities with more on the way. Fortunately, I am lucky enough to live close enough to Chicago to be in-market and could test out Google’s streaming TV service. While not a full review, the following are my first impressions of YouTube TV.
Setup / Sign Up
YouTube TV is available with a one month free trail, after which you will be charged $35 a month. Sign up is a simple affair and can be started by going to tv.youtube.com or clicking the YouTube TV link from “hamburger” menu on YouTube. If you are on a mobile device, YouTube TV uses a separate app than the default YouTube app and weighs in at 9.11 MB for the Android version. The sign up process is very simple. After verifying your location, the following screens show you the channels available in your market and gives you the option of adding Showtime ($11) and/or Fox Soccer ($15) for additional monthly fees. After that, you are prompted for a payment method that can be the one already linked to your Google account and used for app purchases and other subscriptions. As far as the free trial, I was not charged anything and there was no hold on my account for the $35. I like that Google makes it easy to see exactly how many days you have left on your trial and when you will be charged if you do not cancel. Further, the cancel link is not buried away and is intuitively found by clicking your account photo in the upper right > Personal > Membership. Google is doing things right here. After signup, a tour is offered to show you the various features, but you can skip this if you want to get right to it.
In my specific market, I have the following channels. When I first started testing some of the channels were not available, and were just added today. I hope to see more networks added, and if Google can manage that YouTube TV and it’s $35/month price are going to shape up to be a great deal.
- ABC 7, CBS 2, Fox 32, NBC 5, ESPN, CSN, CSN Plus, FS1, CW, USA, FX, Free Form, NBC SN, ESPN 2, FS2, Disney, E!, Bravo, Oxygen, BTN, SEC ESPN Network, ESPN News, CBS Sports, FXX, Syfy, Disney Junior, Disney XD, MSNBC, Fox News, CNBC, Fox Business, National Geographic, FXM, Sprout, Universal, Nat Geo Wild, Chiller, NBC Golf, YouTube Red Originals
- Plus: AMC, BBC America, IFC, Sundance TV, We TV, Telemundo, and NBC Universal (just added).
- Optional Add-Ons: Showtime and Fox Soccer.
I tested YouTube TV out on my Windows PCs and an Android phone. You can also watch YouTube TV on iOS devices, and on your TV using an Android TVs and Chromecasts (At time of writing, Google will send you a free Chromecast after your first month). (See here for a full list of supported devices.) There are currently no Roku or Apple TV apps.
Each YouTube TV account can share out the subscription to 6 total logins where each household member gets their own login and DVR library. Up to three people can be streaming TV at the same time. While out and about, I noticed that YouTube TV required me to turn on location services in order to use the app. Looking further into it, the YouTube TV FAQ states that you will need to verify your location in order to stream live TV and will only be able to stream live TV if you are physically in the markets where YouTube TV has launched. You can watch your DVR shows anywhere in the US. However, if you are traveling internationally you will not be able to use YouTube TV at all (I’m not sure if VPNs will get around this or if YouTube TV blocks this like Netflix does). Users will need to login from their home market at least once every 3 months to keep their account active and able to stream content (every month for MLB content).
YouTube TV verifying location in Chrome (left) and on the android app (right).
On one hand, I can understand this was probably necessary in order for YouTube TV to negotiate a licensing deal, and their terms do seem pretty fair. I will have to do more testing on this as I wasn’t able to stream from the DVR without turning on location services on my Android – I can chalk this up to growing pains though and it may already be fixed.
Features & First Impressions
YouTube TV has an interface that is perhaps best described as a slimmed down YouTube that takes cues from Netflix (things like the horizontal scrolling of shows in categories). The main interface is broken down into three sections: Library, Home, and Live with the first screen you see when logging in being Home. You navigate by scrolling and clicking, and by pulling the menus up from the bottom while streaming TV like YouTube.
Subject: General Tech | March 2, 2017 - 12:16 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: youtube red, youtube, live tv, cord cutting, cloud dvr, broadcast tv
YouTube is jumping into the streaming TV market with the launch of YouTube TV. The new "over the top" streaming service is aimed at cord cutters and users that want to watch live and recorded TV on their mobile devices. YouTube TV joins AT&T's DirecTV Now, Dish Network's Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue with a streaming package of ~40 channels for $35 per month that is reportedly the result of licensing negotiations and deals two years in the making.
The streaming platform, which is reportedly coming in the next weeks to months (depending on the market and local market licensing), will come out swinging with two main advantages over the existing competition: YouTube TV will allow more simultaneous streams (six accounts with up to 3 streams going at the same time) and have DVR functionality with unlimited storage and unlimited simultaneous recordings where episodes will be saved for 9 months.
Unfortunately, YouTube TV suffers the same main drawback of these over the top TV streaming services which is channel selection. Due to licensing issues, YouTube TV will have a collection of 40 channels at launch including access to ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, E!, CW, FX, USA, Freeform, FS1, Disney Channel, and more. However, it lacks the cable-only networks like AMC and Viacom (also no MTV, CNN, TNT, TBS, Comedy Central, HGTV, or Food Network). Showtime is available for an extra monthly fee though.
The sports channels are nice to see and are sure to be appreciated, but due to Verizon's exclusivity deal NFL games are restricted to PCs and can not be streamed on mobile devices using YouTube TV.
For those interested, CNET has a full list of the channels here. YouTube TV will reportedly also allow access to YouTube Red programming, but the TV programming will still have ads (of course).
Excepting the NFL streams, users can watch live and recorded TV on their PCs, smartphones, tablets, and Chromecasts. Google Home support is currently in development as well and will eventually allow you to tune into a channel on your Chromecast using your voice.
I am a excited to see another major player enter this IP TV streaming space, and with a working DVR it will have a leg up over the competition (here's looking at you, DirecTV Now). With Google backing the venture I am hopeful that it can flex its considerable capital muscle to work out further deals with the stubborn cable networks and eventually (maybe) we will see a truly a la carte TV streaming service!
What are your thoughts on YouTube TV? Is it enough to get you to cut the cord, or are you too into The Walking Dead?
Subject: General Tech | February 17, 2017 - 03:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Perhaps someone at Youtube noticed that most people flip to another tab or browser window during those unskippable ads that are frequently played at the beginning of videos. Whatever the cause of the sudden outbreak of common sense, as of 2018 there will no longer be 30 second long ads which are unskippable. This does not mean you will be free of ads, there will instead be unskippable ads of 15-20 seconds for you to ignore and you will still have ads in the middle of long videos. They do have to sell more Red subscriptions after all. Slashdot has linked to the original statement if you seek confirmation.
"We're committed to providing a better ads experience for users online. As part of that, we've decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers," Google said."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Web servers used by disk-nuking Shamoon cyberweapon @ The Register
- Anonabox FAWKES Tor Router Review @ OCC
- Mozilla Will Deprecate XUL Add-ons Before the End of 2017 @ Slashdot
- Haven't deleted your Yahoo account yet? Reminder: Hackers forged login cookies @ The Register
- Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC PRO Wi-Fi Access Point (UAP‑AC‑PRO) @ Custom PC Review
Subject: General Tech | October 23, 2015 - 01:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: google, youtube, youtube red
Google is taking advantage of its near monopoly of online streaming once again. Earlier this year they dropped ad revenue for content creators down to 55%, significantly lower than competitors such as Spotify. Now they are essentially repeating what they did just over a year ago with independent artists, either you sign up for YouTube Red or your content will no longer be visible to anyone. This will only effect those content contributors who make a fair amount of ad revenue, the average uploader will not need to pay the $10/month to enusre their videos are not blocked. One question that doesn't seem to be answered at either The Register nor Techcrunch is the effect YouTube Red will have on ad revenue, if you sign up for the service as a viewer you will no longer see ads, so how exactly will content creators make anything from ads that no longer show up or generate revenue?
"YouTube Red is Google's ad-free subscription service, and rolls up both music and video for $9.99 a month. Google Play subscribers will be opted in, and find that Red videos will be available offline too. Amateur uploaders aren't affected: what Google wants to do is nail down producers who have drawn an audience, and who already draw a tangible quantity of shared advertising revenue."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ubuntu 15.10 'Wily Werewolf' Released @ Slashdot
- China: OK, Seagate, you may now kiss your bride (Samsung's disk biz) @ The Register
- Microsoft will release first major Windows 10 update in early November @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft introduces Visual Studio beta bug bounty programme @ The Inquirer
- Acer establishes subsidiary to enter electric vehicle power system and battery industries @ DigiTimes
- NVIDIA GeForce Experience Quarter 4 2015 Update Analysis @ NitroWare
Subject: General Tech | April 9, 2015 - 01:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: youtube, subscription, google, adblock
YouTube sent out an announcement to official YouTube Partners informing them of a new program they will be rolling out on June 15th of this year. While they failed to specify two key points, the gist of the announcement is that a new advertisement free subscription service will be offered to YouTube users. Unfortunately we do not know if this will be offered to a small group initially or to all YouTube users and more importantly there was no mention of what the monthly fee will be. What was revealed was the benefit to content creators, YouTube will pay them 55 percent of the total net revenues from these new ad free subscription fees.
This being the internet the initial reaction will of course be to similar to the comments on Slashdot; to consider this a stupid move since ad blocking plugins are free and for the most part effectively remove any ads on YouTube. The use of those plugins means that for all the hard work that goes into the content on our page, we receive absolutely no revenue from your views. Using this service would give you the same experience but at the same time increase our revenue stream to allow us to continue to produce our reviews, news and videos.
If you do not wish to see ads and for whatever reason do not want to participate in the program perhaps you could consider reaching out to Ryan to discuss other ways of contributing directly to PC Perspective's continued existence or maybe even subject yourself to ads once and a while to provide us with the associated micropayments?
"YouTube announced today its plans for an ad-free, subscription-based service by way of an email sent out to YouTube Partners. The email details the forthcoming option, which will offer consumers the choice to pay for an "ads-free" version of YouTube for a monthly fee."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- LG screen software left Windows PCs open to malware @ Engadget
- Strapping an Apple II to Your Body @ Hack a Day
- Using Office 365 at work? It's dangerous to go alone! Take this... @ The Register
- Microsoft goes cloud KERR-AZY, chops Windows Server to bits @ The Register
- HP admits it can't compete with Amazon and Google in public cloud @ The Inquirer
- AKRacing Rush Gaming Chair @ Benchmark Reviews
- TP-Link Archer D7 1750AC Router @ Kitguru
- Netgear Arlo Security System @ techPowerUp
Subject: General Tech | January 28, 2015 - 01:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: youtube, google, flash, html5
Youtube has finally ditched Flash as the default player for video in Chrome, Internet Explorer 11 and Safari 8. If you use the beta builds of Firefox you will also be provided HTML5 video by default but as of yet the official release will still be playing Flash videos. The adaptive bitrate which HTML5 can handle, without the use of plugins, could reduce buffering by 50% in a normal situation and up to 80% on congested networks according to the information which was given to The Inquirer. As well the VP9 Codec can provide a stream at 35% less bandwidth than Flash which makes 4K and 60fps videos start much faster. Flash is not yet dead and you can revert back to it, if you want to play Snake while your video is loading.
"GOOGLE'S YOUTUBE video portal has made the switch to HTML5 as a default renderer, marking yet another milestone in the downfall of the Adobe Flash format."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Another day, yet another emergency Adobe Flash patch. Because that's how we live now @ The Register
- Ghost in the Linux machine hits Debian, Red Hat and Ubuntu @ The Inquirer
- Horrifying iPhone sales bring Apple $18bn net profit A QUARTER @ The Register
- IBM details PowerPC microserver aimed at square kilometre array @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | May 19, 2014 - 02:36 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: twitch.tv, youtube
Well... crap. It looks like the YouTube arm of Google is in talks to purchase Twitch. Variety, while not my first choice of source for these issues, claims that the deal is basically done, excluding regulatory involvement, and valued at $1 billion USD in cash. These details are apparently disputed, however, by sources which claim that a deal is in progress but is no-where near the stage that Variety reports.
For us, this will probably suck. It seems like Twitch is much easier to deal with than YouTube when it comes to copyright issues, at least from my observation point. Beyond that, it is doubtful that Google will leave the service as an independent entity. It would not surprise me if Google transitions existing Twitch streaming contracts to YouTube Live and slowly dissolves what is left.
Speaking of what is left, no source seems to be clear on whether this deal is for all of Twitch Interactive, including Justin.tv. The company was rebranded just recently, mid-February of this year, to "Twitch Interactive". Previously, it was known as "Justin.tv", after its older sibling website.
What does our audience think? Can any good come from this?