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T-Mobile promises to end the “complete bulls—t” from TV companies in 2018


T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced today that the mobile phone operator intends to acquire TV service Layer3 TV and next year offer a TV service that lets you watch "what you want, when you want, where you want" without the "complete bullshit"—contracts, forced bundles, and promotional pricing that expires after a year—that typifies the services coming from traditional cable TV providers.

Layer3 TV brands itself as "The New Cable." It currently operates in only a handful of markets, offering access to a wide range of HD and 4K channels (more than 275 in total), streamed using the highly efficient H.265 (also known as HEVC) video codec and a custom set-top box. It's a pure IP service—there's no tuner in the box, and it will connect over Wi-Fi—and to support it, Layer3 has built out a fiber distribution network and data center in Denver that handles transcoding shows into HEVC. It also has partnerships with Internet providers to provide the last mile connectivity. This private backbone network should mean that Layer3 doesn't suffer the kinds of issues that Netflix dealt with a few years ago when its links bought from Cogent became congested.

While the distribution and compression technology are modern, the rest of the current Layer3 service looks quite traditional. Level3 offers a basic package of about 150 channels—like regular cable TV, you'll get access to your local CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, and PBS affiliates, among others—with add-ons for premium services like HBO, Starz, and Cinemax and additional bundles to add extra sports, music, or Spanish-language programming.

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Some people in UK, France and Germany are now apparently able to access Apple’s TV app

According to social media reports Friday, some users in the United Kingdom, France and Germany are now seeing Apple’s TV app on their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV.... Read the rest of this post here

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BBC iPlayer Update Hints at Imminent Release of Apple’s TV App in the UK

BBC's iPlayer app received an update this morning that is fueling speculation online that Apple's TV app will hit U.K. shores imminently.

iPlayer's changelog for version 4.35.0 of the app simply lists "support for the new Apple TV app, available to users with devices running iOS 11.2 and above".

Apple's TV app – billed as an easy way to watch your favorite movies and TV shows in a single place – has been available in the United States since December of 2016, but remains absent from Apple TVs and iOS devices in the United Kingdom and across the rest of Europe.

In September, Apple released the Apple TV app in Canada and Australia, and announced that it would be bringing the app to France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the U.K. by the end of the year.

The BBC's mention is just the latest indication that the TV app should make an appearance very soon, in the U.K. at least.

Channel 5 was another British broadcaster Apple said it would be adding to its TV app, and last week the My5 app began appearing on Apple TVs. On Tuesday, ITV announced its ITV Hub was available on Apple TV, while Wednesday saw the global rollout of Amazon Prime Video on Apple TV, which also supports the native TV app.

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If you enjoy the absurd and extreme edge of comics, SyFy’s Happy may be for you

This trailer does a good job capturing the over-the-top nature of Happy.

The beauty of comics may be the infinite range of stories they can tell. Unlike film and television—with the accompanying restraints of those media due to production costs, broadcast standards, ratings potential, etc.—comics can simply get as crazy and imaginative as a writer wants.

Happy, SyFy's new series drawing upon the Grant Morrison comic of the same name, is the kind of comic-inspired adaptation that may not have existed a few years back. The violence can be extreme, the concept itself (a twisted buddy-cop caper involving a disgraced hitman and an imaginary unicorn) is absurd, and the humor and situations definitely exist in the high-end of the TV-MA range. But as the array of content-hungry providers has diversified and comics as varied as The Walking Dead, Legion, and Preacher paved the way, a show like Happy can finally exist on television, too.

We've collectively come a long, long way from Adam West's Batman or even the more recent Dean Cain in Lois & Clark. And for a certain type of fan, that's a very welcome development.

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Apple creates dedicated TV app account on Twitter

Apple on Wednesday created a new @AppleTV handle on Twitter, dedicated to its TV app.... Read the rest of this post here

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