Apple TV App Coming to Select Sony and Vizio Smart TVs Later This Year

In addition to select LG smart TVs, Apple today announced that its Apple TV app will be available on select Sony and Vizio smart TVs later this year. Apple shared the news in a press release highlighting the success of its various services.


When available, the Apple TV app will allow owners of newer LG, Sony, and Vizio smart TVs to stream Apple TV+ shows and movies, use the à-la-carte Apple TV Channels feature, access their iTunes libraries of movies and TV shows, and buy or rent more than 100,000 shows and movies from the iTunes Store.

The Apple TV app is already available on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, Apple TV, select Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, and select Samsung smart TVs.


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CES 2020: Sony Unveils New 4K and 8K TVs with HomeKit and AirPlay 2 Support

Sony today announced the upcoming launch of several new 2020 4K and 8K sets TV, including the 8H 8K LED, A8H and MASTER Series A9S OLED, and X950H and X900H 4K LED televisions.

All of the new TVs offer support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. With ‌AirPlay‌ 2 support, the new TVs will be able to interact with other ‌AirPlay‌ 2 devices such as the HomePod or ‌AirPlay‌ 2-enabled speakers for multi-device whole home audio.


‌HomeKit‌ support allows the Sony TVs to show up in the Home app and respond to Siri voice commands for doing things like changing volume and turning the TV on and off.

Sony started rolling out ‌HomeKit‌ and ‌AirPlay‌ 2 support to some of its existing 2018 and 2019 TVs in December, but the 2020 models will support it out of the box. While the 2020 TVs will support ‌AirPlay‌ 2 and ‌HomeKit‌, there is no mention of Sony introducing the Apple TV app on Sony TVs.

According to Sony, the 2020 TV lineup will include features that have previously been limited to the MASTER series models, with the company aiming to deliver a more immersive viewing experience. Features will include Sony's Picture Processor X1, Triluminos Display, Sound-from-Picture Reality, Netflix Calibrated Mode, and IMAX Enhanced for an IMAX experience at home.

A new feature called Ambient Optimization is also included for optimizing picture and sound quality in any environment, and all of the new TVs will use Sony's new Immersive Edge design concept with a minimalist stand.

TV sizes will range from 48 inches to 85 inches, with full details on each TV available via Sony's press release. Sony plans to introduce these TVs in the spring of 2020, and pricing will be available at that time.


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Successor to Sony’s Flagship WH-1000XM3 Wireless Headphones Spotted in FCC Filing

Sony could be about to launch the next generation model of its popular WH-1000XM3 over-ear noise-canceling headphones, if a new FCC filing is anything to go by.


The company's WH-1000XM3 cans, which we reviewed back in March, are considered by many to offer some of the best noise-canceling in the business, providing great sound, excellent comfort and long battery life.

Now it appears that Sony wants to go one better with news that the company has filed for certification for the next model in the series.

The new "WH-1000XM4" headphones aren't actually named as such in the filing, which doesn't reveal any specs or pictures either. However, The Verge notes that the product ID gives a good indication that the version number will be XM4. (The last two models had the version numbers of M2 and M3.)

With so much going for the current model, it's difficult to know what improvements Sony is aiming for in the XM4's. Having said that, the XM3 cans don't support dynamic switching between audio sources.

Bose's QC35's and 700's have no trouble pairing with two devices and automatically switching between them based on which one is transmitting an audio signal. We think it's baffling that the 1000XM3's lack this ability given how convenient the feature is, so hopefully Sony has been listening.

The filing offers no hint as to when the new model will be out, but the Consumer Electronics Show is coming up in January, so maybe Sony will announce the headphones then.

In the meantime, the WH-1000XM3's are still a top choice if you're looking to get some wireless noise-canceling cans for the holidays, and you can find places like Amazon and Best Buy selling them at around $280, which is a decent discount on their original $349.99 RRP.

Tag: Sony

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Sony Smart TV Software Update Brings AirPlay 2 and HomeKit Support to Select 2018 and 2019 Models

Sony has begun rolling out a software update for some of its smart TVs that enables AirPlay 2 and Apple HomeKit support, including its XBR Z9F and XBR A9F series of 4K and 4K OLED TVs.


Earlier this year, Sony announced that ‌AirPlay‌ 2 and ‌HomeKit‌ support would come to some of its mid-range and high-end smart TVs by way of a software update. This Android 9 Pie update makes good on that promise, and also includes Dolby Atmos support.

The update is available for the 2018 A9F and Z9F models as well as the 2019 A9G, Z9G, X950G, and X850G (55, 65, 75, 85-inch). TV tech site FlatpanelsHD notes that the 2018 A9F and Z9F models weren't listed as compatible models in Sony's original announcement, but they've since been included.

‌AirPlay‌ 2 support will allow users to stream videos, music, photos, and more directly from an iPhone, iPad, and Mac to compatible Sony smart TVs, complete with lock screen controls. ‌HomeKit‌ support will enable users to easily control the TVs using Siri voice commands or the Home app on ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, and Mac.

The software update is available in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. There's no word yet on the availability of the update in Europe and elsewhere, but presumably Sony plans to extend the staggered rollout beyond these regions.

To update the Android-based software, you need to press the HELP button on the remote control and select "System software update." If you don't see the update, enable the "Automatically check for update" option, and a notification will appear on your TV when the update is available.

Samsung, LG, and Vizio have also released ‌AirPlay‌ 2-enabled smart TVs this year. To check out MacRumors' hands-on with one of Vizio's compatible models, click here.


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Sony’s ‘PlayStation Vue’ Live Streaming TV Service Shutting Down January 30, 2020

As live TV streaming services continue to increase prices and make viewers look toward lower-cost services, or return to cable altogether, Sony today announced that it's bowing out of the race completely. PlayStation Vue's servers will shut down for good on January 30, 2020, nearly 5 years after soft launching in March of 2015.


According to Sony's Deputy President of Sony Interactive Entertainment, John Kodera, the company has decided to "remain focused" on its core gaming business and step away from OTT streaming services. "Unfortunately, the highly competitive Pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected," said Kodera.
We are very proud of what PlayStation Vue was able to accomplish. We had ambitious goals for how our service could change how people watch TV, showcasing PlayStation’s ability to innovate in a brand-new category within the Pay TV industry. We want to thank all of our customers, some of whom have been with us since PlayStation Vue’s launch in 2015.
PS4 owners will still be able to rent and purchase films and TV on the PlayStation Store, and the console will still support media apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime. The only thing going away is PlayStation Vue, which includes all of its connected apps, including those on iOS and tvOS.

In other live TV streaming news, AT&T this month announced that it would be increasing the price of its AT&T TV NOW grandfathered plans by $10 per month. Additionally, AT&T will increase the price of the new PLUS and MAX plan tiers by $15 per month, all starting on November 19, 2019 (via Cord Cutters News).

For the new tiers, this means that AT&T TV NOW will start at $65 per month for PLUS and increase to $85 per month for MAX. This is the second major price hike for the service in 2019, after another $10 per month increase back in March, when it was still called DirecTV Now.


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How to Pair a DualShock 4 or Xbox Wireless Controller With iPhone and Apple TV

With iOS 13 and tvOS 13, Apple users are now able to connect their favorite console controllers to an iPhone or Apple TV. In this guide, we've provided a quick rundown of how to go about pairing the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller and Xbox Wireless Controller to both iOS and tvOS devices.


Previously, MFi controllers were the only solution to playing games on iPhone, iPad, and ‌Apple TV‌. With the new update, console players don't need to spend extra money on another controller to play iOS and tvOS games. PS4 players also have a reason to look into DualShock 4 pairing since Sony's Remote Play iOS app provides streaming of compatible games to the iPhone or ‌iPad‌, which can now be controlled by a DualShock 4.

How to connect the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller to iPhone or ‌iPad‌


  1. Press and hold the PS logo and Share buttons simultaneously on your DualShock 4 controller until the light bar flashes.
  2. Open your iOS device's Settings app and navigate to Bluetooth.
  3. Under "Other Devices," tap on your DualShock 4 wireless controller.

How to connect the Xbox Wireless Controller to iPhone or ‌iPad‌


  1. Press the Xbox button to turn on the Xbox Wireless Controller.
  2. Press and hold the Connect button for a few seconds.
  3. Open your iOS device's Settings app and navigate to Bluetooth.
  4. Under "Other Devices," tap on your Xbox Wireless Controller.

Sony's Remote Play iOS app controlled via DualShock 4

The steps for pairing controllers with an ‌Apple TV‌ are largely similar to the ones for iOS devices. You can find this information below.

How to connect the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller to ‌Apple TV‌


  1. Press and hold the PS logo and Share buttons simultaneously on your DualShock 4 controller until the light bar flashes.
  2. Open the Settings app on ‌Apple TV‌ > click Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth.
  3. Select the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller to pair it, which will be confirmed with a notification on tvOS.

How to connect the Xbox Wireless Controller to ‌Apple TV‌


  1. Press the Xbox button to turn on the Xbox Wireless Controller.
  2. Press and hold the Connect button for a few seconds.
  3. Open the Settings app on ‌Apple TV‌ > click Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth.
  4. Select the Xbox Wireless Controller to pair it, which will be confirmed with a notification on tvOS.
It should be noted that for the DualShock 4, some controller functions will not be functional while connected to an iPhone, ‌iPad‌, or ‌Apple TV‌. These include the touchpad, the central PS button, rumble, motion sensor, and the headphone jack. The light bar will also remain one color and can not be changed.

Both the PS4 and Xbox controllers will stay connected to the iOS/tvOS device you've paired them with until you repair them with your console. To reconnect a DualShock 4 with a PS4, you'll need to manually connect the controller with the console via the micro-USB to USB cable each controller comes with. For Xbox, you can press the connect button on the controller and the console at the same time, or use a micro-USB to USB cable.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS

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Sony’s Latest CarPlay Receiver Features a Large 8.9-Inch Touchscreen That Hovers Over the Dashboard

Sony today unveiled its latest CarPlay and Android Auto receiver with a large 8.95-inch touchscreen that hovers over the dashboard, allowing it to fit into a smaller single-DIN space. Equipped with a three-way mount, the receiver's height, depth, and tilt can be adjusted during installation in most vehicles.

XAV-AX8000

Sony says the XAV-AX8000 will be available in December 2019 for a suggested retail price of $599.99 in the United States.

Aftermarket receivers like this one allow for CarPlay and Android Auto to be installed in older vehicles. This particular Sony model is a wired CarPlay receiver, so an iPhone must be connected with a Lightning to USB cable. Wireless CarPlay receivers are available from brands like Alpine, Kenwood, and JVC.

CarPlay is Apple's in-car platform that enables iPhone users to access a range of apps from the dashboard, such as Messages, Apple Maps, Apple Music, Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, SiriusXM Radio, Pandora, WhatsApp, Downcast, Slacker Radio, Stitcher, and as of iOS 12, third-party navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
Tag: Sony

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Sony Announces New Wireless Earbuds Coming in August for $230

Sony today announced the WF-1000XM3 earbuds, a new set of true wireless earbuds that will launch this August for $229.99.

The new earbuds come with advanced noise cancellation, powered by a dual noise sensor that catches more of the ambient sounds from your surroundings. This is paired with a dedicated HD noise-cancelling processor, the QN1e, which cancels more noise across all frequencies while using less power.


All of the noise cancellation features can be customized in settings, and you can choose to hear more or less ambient noise at any time. There are a few gesture-based features as well, allowing users to place a finger over the earbud to turn the volume down and let in ambient sounds.

In terms of audio quality, Sony promises high-resolution audio powered by a small 0.24" driver unit and the company's Digital Sound Enhancement Engine HX. The earbuds also have a new Bluetooth chip and an optimized antenna design for wider coverage and uninterrupted streaming.


The earbuds offer six hours of power on one full charge, and the included charging case provides three charges. Users can also opt to turn noise-cancelling features off to boost listening time to eight hours per charge. A quick 10-minute charge in the charging case offers up to 90 minutes of play time.

The Verge has hands-on coverage of the earbuds, noting one major downside: they aren't sweat or water-resistant, so any gym-goers may do better looking into other wireless headphones.

Sony's WF-1000XM3 earbuds will launch next month for $229.99.

Tag: Sony

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PlayStation Vue Raising Prices for Every Subscription Plan by $5, Now Starts at $49.99/Month

Sony today announced that its live TV streaming service, PlayStation Vue, will receive a $5/month price hike across every one of its multi-channel plans. This means that the cheapest PS Vue plan will now be $49.99/month for the "Access" tier.


Additionally, the "Core" tier will be priced at $54.99/month, the "Elite" tier will be $64.99/month, and the "Ultra" tier will be $84.99/month. The price hike is effective today for new customers, while existing customers will retain their existing prices for at least 30 days, and then will see new prices during their first billing cycle on or after July 31, 2019.

Sony said that because of the rising cost of content each year, it decided to increase prices to ensure that it provides "the best live TV viewing experience at the most compelling value." The company also noted that it will continue to develop new features and integrations for the service in the future, and pointed out that PS Vue already offers multi-view on Apple TV, a conflict-free DVR, and more.
With costs rising each year for content, we constantly evaluate each deal to ensure we continue to deliver the content you want while considering the overall value of each package. After reviewing this, we have made the decision to raise the price of all of our multi-channel plans by $5. This change starts today for new customers. Our existing customers will keep their current price for at least 30 days and will see the new price beginning on their first billing cycle on or after July 31.
PS Vue is the latest live TV streaming service to see a price hike this year; it was preceded by YouTube TV in April, FuboTV in March, and DirecTV Now also in March. All three of these services increased their rates by $10/month.

Below we've listed the current entry-level prices across the major live TV streaming services:
  • SlingTV - $25/month for "Orange and Blue" with limited-time discount

  • Hulu With Live TV - $44.99/month

  • PS Vue - $49.99/month for "Access" tier

  • YouTube TV - $49.99/month

  • DirecTV Now - $50/month for "Plus" and "Live a Little"

  • FuboTV - $54.99/month for "Standard"
With its $5/month hike today, PS Vue now matches entry level plans offered by DirecTV Now and YouTube TV. This allows Hulu With Live TV to take the mantle as the cheapest entry-level live TV streaming service (for now).


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iOS 13 Will Turn Your iPhone into a Mobile PS4 Thanks to DualShock 4 Support and the Remote Play App

Apple this week announced that iOS 13 and iPadOS will introduce full support for Sony's DualShock 4 controller, which is the main game controller for the PlayStation 4. This announcement, along with confirmation of Xbox One S controller support, is great for iOS gamers, but even more enticing thanks to Sony's existing Remote Play app for iOS.


Released in March, the Remote Play app [Direct Link] lets you connect your iPhone or iPad to your PS4 to stream and play games while away from your living room (but still on a Wi-Fi network, because the app doesn't support cellular connectivity). At launch, the app worked well and provided a sample of what it would be like to play games like Overwatch and Assassin's Creed: Odyssey on your iPhone, but the touchscreen controls and lack of full support for certain buttons on existing MFi controllers left many games nearly unplayable.

Now, with iOS 13 and DualShock 4 support, your iPhone or iPad will essentially be a portable PS4. You'll encounter all of the usual PS4-related controls, including full support for the console's dashboard, store, and user profiles. You can even allow it access to your iOS microphone to talk to your friends in a party or through game chat.

We used a DualShock 4 to play Kingdom Hearts 3 on the iOS 13 developer beta

There are some downsides to the Remote Play app, including the fact that some games are not compatible with it and won't let you stream or control the game from your iOS device. But, for the games that do support Remote Play, users will have a chance to play full console titles right from their iPhone.

DualShock 4 and Xbox One S controller support also have the ability to enhance other gaming apps, like the recently released Steam Link app for iOS. Valve's app lets you stream your Steam games to iPhone or iPad, as long as your mobile device and PC are on the same Wi-Fi network. Once connected, you can use your iOS device to play Steam games, many of which already support DualShock 4 and Xbox controllers.


Microsoft is working on a mobile streaming app of its own, which could come to iOS devices as well. But, as of now, Xbox One gamers have to look into third-party options for streaming to an iPhone or iPad, like the $11.99 OneCast app [Direct Link]. Similar to Sony Remote Play, OneCast streams Xbox One games to iOS devices that are connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Besides iOS 13 and iPadOS, tvOS 13 is gaining support for the DualShock 4 and Xbox One S controller as well. Apple's support for these controllers will be timed alongside the release of Apple Arcade, an all-new subscription service for iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS that will present users with high-quality games that they can play on-demand while subscribing to the platform.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS
Tags: Sony, PS4

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