PlayStation Vue for Apple TV Gains Multi-View Support for Watching Up to Four Live Shows at Once

Sony today announced that its PlayStation Vue app for the Apple TV has been updated with multi-view support, allowing users to watch up to four live channels on one screen.

The new PlayStation Vue feature for Apple TV comes just ahead of the NCAA March Madness season, with the goal of letting sports fans keep an eye on all of the ongoing games or mix and match live games with news or other TV programs.


Multi-view has long been available on the PlayStation 4, but prior to today it wasn't an option on the Apple TV platform.

PlayStation Vue is Sony's streaming TV service, offering live and on-demand content at prices starting at $44.99 per month. Sports packages start at $49.99 per month.

PlayStation Vue works on PlayStation consoles, the Apple TV, iOS devices through the PS Vue app, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Android mobile devices, PC, and Mac.


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Sony Releases Remote Play App to Control Your PS4 With iPhone or iPad

Sony today released a new app called "Remote Play" for iOS devices, after launching the same app on Android a few years ago. The app allows you to connect your iPhone or iPad to your PS4, and directly control both the console interface as well as most games through on-screen iOS touch controls [Direct Link].


To get everything set up, make sure your PS4 is updated to version 6.50 (which just began rolling out in the early hours of the morning). Then, download the PS4 Remote Play app from the iOS App Store, sign into your Sony account in the app, and allow it to search for your PS4. You'll need to be on a Wi-Fi network for this to work, as the app cannot be used via mobile networks.

Once connected, you'll see your PS4 home screen displayed on your iPhone, sitting above a row of touch controls that mimic the buttons on a DualShock 4 controller. If you tilt the iPhone to a horizontal orientation, the buttons will disappear until you tap on the display.


The app supports the ability to talk to your friends in a party or through game chat, but you'll have to allow it access to the iOS microphone. The app's controls include the DualShock 4's Share and Options buttons, as well as the central PlayStation logo that brings you back to the home screen.


You can browse around the PS4 and launch most games in the Remote Play app, but Sony does note that there are some games that will be incompatible with the app. Additionally, you can't directly connect the DualShock 4 to the iPhone to play games.

Sony has shown interest in iOS in the past, previously launching an app called "PlayLink", which enabled synchronous multiplayer gaming between the PS4 and iOS device. PlayLink games relied on the PS4, however, and iOS devices acted as extensions to the main events happening on the TV, including experiences like a mini-game collection, comedy quiz show, and hidden identity game.


There have also been apps like R-Play that have functionality similar to Sony's Remote Play app, allowing users to play their PS4 while not at home. R-Play costs $11.99 to download [Direct Link] while Sony's new Remote Play app is free to download [Direct Link].

Tags: Sony, PS4

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CES 2019: Sony Unveils New 6.9-Inch CarPlay Receiver With Improved Sound and Dedicated Voice Button

Sony today at CES 2019 introduced its latest aftermarket CarPlay receiver with improved sound quality and a dedicated voice button.

XAV-AX7000 Car AV Receiver

The new XAV-AX7000 has the same 6.95-inch capacitive touchscreen as the current XAV-AX5000, but features a higher-power 100W class-D amplifier for more impactful sound and a higher-power 5V pre-out for clearer sound with less distortion when the receiver is connected to an external amplifier, according to Sony.

By comparison, the XAV-AX5000 has a 55W class-D amplifier and a 2V pre-out.

Beyond the dedicated voice button, the design of the XAV-AX7000 is identical to the XAV-AX5000, including slim bezels with physical buttons for volume and playback controls, settings, and returning to the home screen. Both receivers have dual USB-A ports for wired CarPlay. Android Auto is also supported.

The rear chassis of the XAV-AX7000 is designed with space-saving single-DIN dimensions, according to Sony.

Like the XAV-AX5000, the XAV-AX7000 can be connected to a vehicle's rear-view camera with adjustable parking guidelines. Both receivers also have Bluetooth, SiriusXM compatibility, and boot approximately 2.5 times faster than Sony's lesser-end XAV-AX100 receiver after the vehicle is turned on.

Sony says the XAV-AX7000 will be available in North America starting in summer 2019, with pricing to be announced at a later date. The XAV-AX5000 retails for a suggested price of $399.99 in the United States.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
Tags: Sony, CES 2019

This article, "CES 2019: Sony Unveils New 6.9-Inch CarPlay Receiver With Improved Sound and Dedicated Voice Button" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Shares List of AirPlay 2-Enabled Smart TVs From Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio

A few days ago, Apple announced that AirPlay 2–enabled smart TVs are coming soon from leading manufacturers, and we've since seen a series of announcements from Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio at CES 2019.


Apple has now shared a list of AirPlay 2–enabled TVs announced to date:
  • LG OLED (2019)
  • LG NanoCell SM9X series (2019)
  • LG NanoCell SM8X series (2019)
  • LG UHD UM7X series (2019)
  • Samsung QLED Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Samsung 8 Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Samsung 7 Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Samsung 6 Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Samsung 5 Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Samsung 4 Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Sony Z9G Series (2019)
  • Sony A9G Series (2019)
  • Sony X950G Series (2019)
  • Sony X850G Series (2019 85", 75", 65" and 55" models)
  • Vizio P-Series Quantum (2019 and 2018)
  • Vizio P-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
  • Vizio M-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
  • Vizio E-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
  • Vizio D-series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
We've yet to see any AirPlay 2 announcements from smaller brands such as TCL, Hisense, Panasonic, or Toshiba.

AirPlay 2 support will allow users to stream video, audio, photos, and more directly from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to supported smart TVs. HomeKit support is also coming to many of these TVs, enabling users to control volume, playback, and more using Siri or the Home app on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

Samsung announced that its latest smart TVs are also getting an exclusive iTunes TV and movie app for accessing the storefront.

Apple is widely expected to launch a Netflix-esque streaming video service later this year, and AirPlay 2 support on leading smart TVs would make it easier for users to stream Apple's original content on the big screen without an Apple TV. Rumors suggest Apple could introduce the service within the first half of 2019.


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CES 2019: Sony’s Upcoming 4K and 8K TVs to Support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit

Starting later this year, Sony's new 2019 Z9G Series 8K LCDs, A9G Series OLED 4K TVs, and X950G 4K LCD TVs will support Airplay 2 and HomeKit protocols from Apple.

Other TV manufacturers, including Samsung, Vizio, and LG have also announced support for HomeKit and AirPlay 2 for their 2019 smart TV lineups. All of the major TV brands will support both, with the exception of Samsung. Samsung TVs support AirPlay 2 and will have an exclusive app for accessing iTunes content, but won't work with HomeKit.


With AirPlay 2 support, compatible Sony television sets will be able to stream videos, music, photos, and more right from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and multi-room audio across multiple AirPlay 2 devices will also be available.

Content AirPlayed on Sony television sets will be able to be controlled using the Lock screen widget or the Control Center of an iOS device. Users will be able to play, pause, fast-forward, rewind, and adjust volume on the TV when AirPlaying TVs, movies, and music.

With HomeKit and Siri integration, users will be able to control their TVs via Siri voice commands, using voice requests to do things like play specific TV shows on a specific television. The TVs will be present in the Home app, so Siri controls will also be available for doing things like turning on the TV or including the TV in a HomeKit scene.

Sony's television sets run an Android-based operating system with built-in Cast support from Google, which means users will be able to choose between using Google and Apple services.

AirPlay-compatible Sony television sets include the newly announced Z9G 8K TVs available in 98 and 85 inch sizes, the new A9G 4K OLED TVs available in 77, 65, and 55 inch options, and the new X950G 4K LCD TVs available in 55, 65, 75 and 85 inch sizes, all of which are set to launch in spring 2019. Sony says that AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support will launch for these TV sets "later this year."

Apple has added new details about the upcoming smart television integrations on its AirPlay website for those who want more information about its upcoming partnerships with TV manufacturers.


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PlayStation Vue Expands Local Broadcast Stations With 200 New Additions Across the U.S.

Following DirecTV Now's addition of numerous local stations for its customers, Sony this week announced the addition of around 200 new local network affiliates for PlayStation Vue users in cities across the United States. These include affiliate partners with ABC, FOX, and NBC in cities like Buffalo, Honolulu, Memphis, Austin, and many more.


ABC affiliates on PS Vue now include Cincinnati, Ohio (9 On Your Side); Columbia, South Carolina (ABC Columbia); Corpus Christi, Texas (KIII-TV 3); Lafayette, Louisiana (KATC TV 3); and Baton Rouge, Louisiana (WBRZ 2). A few Fox affiliates include Bangor, Maine (FOX 22); Denver, Colorado (FOX 31); Eureka, California (FOX 28); and Jackson, Mississippi (FOX 40). Lastly, some NBC affiliates include Alexandria, Louisiana (KALB); Anchorage, Alaska (KTUU); Fargo, North Dakota (KVLY); and Lima, Ohio (WLIO). Check out PS Vue's FAQ page for the entire list of new local stations.

PS Vue head Dwayne Benefield made the announcement on the PlayStation Blog:
I am excited to announce that PS Vue users in select markets will gain access to local broadcast stations at no extra cost, starting today. With this expansion, PS Vue now offers more than 450 local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC stations, in cities all over the US – from Buffalo, NY, to Honolulu, HI.

As we gear up for football season and Fall TV premieres, now over 97% of the US population has access to at least one major broadcast station from ABC, CBS, FOX, and/ or NBC.
Unfortunately, there are many local stations that are restricted from recording shows through PS Vue's cloud DVR, including every station listed above and what appears to be every station added onto the service this week. The company says this restriction is "due to streaming rights," and it also extends to certain on demand channels, HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax.

With the expansion, Sony says PS Vue now supports "more than 450 local stations" from ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. Like other OTT services, PS Vue lets users stream live television through apps available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, and PlayStation consoles, starting at $44.99/month. Features include being able to stream on up to five devices at once, a cloud DVR, on demand content, and more.

PlayStation Vue is one of the major live TV streaming services along with DirecTV Now, Hulu With Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.


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Sony Unveils New Version of Its Top-Rated Aftermarket CarPlay System

Sony today introduced its new XAV-AX210 receiver, which doubles as an aftermarket CarPlay and Android Auto system.


The XAV-AX210 is an update to Sony's year-old XAV-AX200 receiver, with the headline new feature being support for iDatalink Maestro, a car audio system that seamlessly interfaces with steering wheel controls, amplifier functions, on-screen vehicle settings, and more when used outside of CarPlay mode.

The receiver has a 6.4-inch touchscreen, but Sony hasn't specified if it's resistive or capacitive. Other key features include hands-free phone calls and music playback via Bluetooth, SiriusXM compatibility, rear view camera readiness, a built-in four-channel amplifier, and a built-in CD/DVD player.

This product is ideal for vehicles that don't come with factory installed CarPlay, mirroring several apps onto the dashboard, including Phone, Messages, Apple Maps, Apple Music, Spotify, and starting with iOS 12, Google Maps and Waze. As a wired system, an iPhone must be connected via Lightning cable.

Sony said XAV-AX210 pricing and availability in North America will be announced in the fall of 2018. It will likely have a similar price as the XAV-AX200, available on Amazon for between $399 and $499 depending on configuration.

Of note, the XAV-AX100 and XAV-AX200 have received favorable reviews from publications such as The Wirecutter.

Other brands with aftermarket CarPlay and Android Auto receivers include Alpine, Pioneer, JVC, Kenwood, and Clarion.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
Tag: Sony

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Sony Reveals $280 ‘Xperia Ear Duo’ With Siri Support and ‘Dual Listening’ Tech to Combine Music With Environment

Sony today at Mobile World Congress revealed an upgraded version of its Xperia Ear earphones, called the Xperia Ear Duo. Sony previously showed the earphones in prototype form during last year's MWC, but the company has now officially announced a price point of $280 and release date of May 2018 for its latest smart assistant earphones (via The Verge).

The main new addition to Sony's earphones is the "Spatial Acoustic Conductor," which Sony describes as a way to allow the sound generated behind the user's ear by the unit's driver "to be transmitted directly into the ear." This way users will be able to hear their music while not being totally out of tune with noises coming in from their environment, which the company refers to as "Dual Listening." As such, there is no toggle to turn off the feature and block out ambient sounds.

The Xperia Ear Duo doesn’t block the ear canal, so you can hear your music and the environment around you simultaneously. Even better, the volume automatically adjusts depending on your surroundings for an optimised audio experience.

The Spatial Acoustic Conductor, developed by our in-house technology incubator Future Lab Program™, allows the sound generated behind the ear by the unit´s driver to be transmitted directly into the ear. The specially designed ring supporter surrounds the ear canal so your music can blend seamlessly with sounds from your environment.
Similar to Apple's AirPods, the Xperia Ear Duo earphones have multiple gesture controls that let users control music playback with taps. Additionally, Sony's earphones recognize head movement and support head nods and shakes to accept or decline incoming calls.

The Xperia Ear Duo will support iOS and Android smartphone connections, and subsequently have Google Assistant and Siri integration for both types of users, with a single tap bringing up each voice assistant for traditional commands like starting music or reading texts. The assistants will also be able to read missed alerts from calendar, email, and other applications.


Additionally, Sony said the earphones last for about four hours on one charge, and will come with a carrying case that adds an additional three charges. When they go on sale in May, the Xperia Ear Duo will be available in black and gold color options. For more information on the earphones, check out Sony's website.

Tag: Sony

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