Not only do our Android devices make great MP3 players, but they make great portable home theaters, too. With the resolutions on many devices competing with the televisions in most people’s living rooms, they’re great choices for watching movies and TV shows on.
Most Android devices will bunch any movies, TV shows, or just home videos into your gallery application with your pictures and downloaded images. That’s generally not an ideal place for organizing them, and to make things worse, you’d only be able to watch the videos in the built-in video viewing application. More often than not, the stock app is lacking in many features or just can’t play all of the formats you may have your videos encoded in. Fortunately for you, this guide is going to go over the top 5 applications to make your video watching experience that much better.
Google is always enhancing their search results, and starting today, when you search for a TV show, you will get some useful additional info. Searching for a TV show will now show episode information in the results, including episode numbers, names, and air dates. If you click on the episode name, you will get relevant results on that specific episode. It’s a very useful new feature in Google’s goal to have everything accessible to you through their Knowledge Graph.
HBO has (finally) reached some kind of agreement with Google to allow their shows to be sold through Google Play. There are a few catches here, though. As of right now, there are only a few shows available, not all of their programming. You’ll be able to buy episodes/seasons of Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom, Veep, Girls, and The Wire. It’s not a massive selection, but it’s not bad at all. HBO is committed to getting more shows available in the future. You also can’t get the newest completed seasons if they haven’t been released on DVD yet (Game of Thrones seasons 1 and 2 are available, but not season 3) and they probably won’t be available until the most recent seasons hit store shelves and another new season starts.
Even with those few shortcomings, it’s great to finally have a legitimate (and relatively affordable) way to buy and watch some of these shows digitally.
source: Google Play
The Samsung Media Hub allows you to watch thousands of movies and TV shows on your Samsung Galaxy S series smartphone or Galaxy Tab. Samsung just rolled out the Beta version of Media Hub for AT&T Galaxy S II users. It lets you watch select movies and TV shows not only on your Galaxy S II, but also on any 2011 Smart TV via the Media Hub Beta application.
Upon signing up you will receive a $25 voucher that can be used within the Media Hub Beta app. At the conclusion of the program, you will receive a short survey so you can provide feedback. Hit the source link to sign up.
Samsung plans on adding a series of new services to the Media Hub program, so this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Verizon has officially unveiled its Verizon Video package offering on-demand access to a wide variety of content.
The Video package provides unlimited, on-demand access to TV shows from all major networks, live and recorded sports and entertainment, news and weather. Through Verizon Video you will receive over 100 channels with over 250 full episode shows each month.
The list of channels is impressive including CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, Animal Planet, BET, Cartoon Network, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, Discovery, E!, Lifetime, MTV, Nickelodeon, Planet Green, Spike, SyFy, Telemundo, TLC, Univision, USA Network, Vh1 and others.
Last month, Hulu Plus launched on Android, but we were disappointed because it was only available on a handful of phones. Shortly after, they added additional devices, which gave us promise. Now we are back to disappointment again as it turns out that if you are rooted, you won’t be able to use the popular streaming service.
This is not surprising because Google movie rentals and Blockbuster are already doing it. For the short-term, some rooted users are able to run the app which might be related to what version of Android you’re running.
We showed you Bitbop while it was still in beta last month, and now it’s open for everyone to try out with a free 1 week trial. Sure the name sounds like a Wii Nintendo game, but this little app is the best thing for getting TV shows (and soon movies) on your Android device. Not only does it give you the option to stream over wifi or 3G immediately, you can also download shows straight to your Android device for later viewing. Useful for those long car trips where you don’t always have a signal, or flights that play a movie you’ve seen 5 times already. Bitbop will also resume your show where you left off should you get interrupted in your small screen viewing indulgence.
The service cost $10 a month, so be sure to try it out first with the 1-week trial, and check out what TV networks and shows they have available. I think the pricing is fair considering the amount of content available and being commercial free, unlike other paid TV streaming services *cough* hulu plus *cough*. The holy grail of TV and movie watching isn’t in our pocket quite yet, but this is definitely a step closer. Give it a try and tell us what you think in the comments.