September 28, 2010
If the triple digit temperatures weren’t a dead giveaway – fall is upon us.
Children are back at school serving the first few weeks on their nine-month academic incarcerations; the National Football League continues to poo-poo on fantasy leagues across the country with its lack-luster performances and uneventful matchups.
If there’s one saving grace for this awkward start to autumn, it has to be the ambitious line up television excellence on the horizon. Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I just don’t have nearly as much time for TV as I once did, which is exactly why I’ve turned to technology to ensure optimal viewing pleasure and maximum brain-rottage/minute.
Between Hulu and Bit Torrent, I can’t really complain, but for the truly couch potato elite, we took a look at five must have apps for fall’s must see TV.
If AT&T designed an UVerse player for iPhone, chances are it might look something like MobiTV, but probably not as nice. MobiTV has the look and feel of an app at least 10x it’s price (pun not intended, it’s currently free). An easy to use UI and enough upgradable content to blow an entire month’s cable budget on your phone, mean you’ll never be without your favorite shows on the go. The app works equally well over 3G and WiFi, but look for future releases to address choppiness and minor crash issues.
Half of everything I watch now is simply because a friend recommended it or someone wrote a diatribe on Facebook professing their love for Glee or Boardwalk Empire or the second to last season of Entourage. Get Glue centralizes everything you and your friends are watching and creates an easy to manage social network where you can revel in your fandom, get recommendations on other shows to watch, and even earn exclusive show stickers (that’s right people…stickers – STICKERS – need I say more). Besides stickers, one of the things that sets Get Glue apart from competitors like Clicker and Miso is the ability to manage other interests like games, movies, and books for those fleeting moments you’re actually away from the tube.
Justin.tv / Ustream
For those moments where that hotly anticipated new fall show just doesn’t live up to all the hype (see: Outsourced), why not step behind the lens and see if you can do better. Both Justin.tv and Ustream allow you to easily stream, upload, view, comment on, and share videos via Facebook and Twitter, while on either 3G or WiFi. The former goes about the process via a single app, where as Ustream breaks out all that functionality across three apps: Ustream Broadcaster, Viewer, and Recorder (to ensure iPad users won’t be tempted to record video with a camera they don’t have?). Both apps perform equally well and offer tons of user generated content to peruse when you’re not working on the next webisode of your hit fall premier alternative.
As Google and Apple ramp up their bids to take over your living room, apps like Rowmote are going to become even more integral to your television viewing experience. At $0.99, Rowmote is an attractive alternative to the easily misplaced Apple Remote, and provides the ability to easily control numerous video, music, and photo applications on your Mac. Its minimalistic interface is going be a welcomed change for people suffering universal remote feature overload, but it still showcases all the functionality you need to navigate your Apple TV setup from afar.
No top five TV list would be complete without this perennial cinematic favorite, and if you think the best way to prepare for the upcoming season of your favorite show is by reliving every glorious plot twist and suspenseful cliff hanger of the previous season, than you’ve already downloaded Netflix on to any iPhone, iPod, or iPad you can get your hands on. We’d gladly pay a separate fee for internet streaming, but thankfully, it’s still included in your monthly subscription and certainly worth more than every penny of it.