View Finder: Amazon and Apple now best mates again

Nick Broughall 12 May 2017 NEWS

apple tv 738

And you can finally cast your SBS On Demand from your iPhone.

It seems that the bitter feud between rival tech companies Apple and Amazon is set to come to an end as soon as next month's WWDC conference. Okay, maybe bitter feud is overselling it a bit, but the fact remains that since 2015, Amazon has refused to sell the Apple TV streaming box as it competes with its own Fire TV products, and (seemingly in retaliation) there has been no Amazon Prime Video app for the tvOS platform.

According to a Buzzfeed report citing unnamed sources, the two companies have managed to smoke the peace pipe and are planning on announcing both the return of the Apple TV to Amazon's digital shelf and an Amazon Prime video app for the Apple TV.

About a year ago, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos was quoted as saying the Prime Video wouldn't get an Apple TV app until the Cupertino giant agreed to "acceptable business terms".

While there's no details of what those acceptable business terms are now that there two companies have seemingly come together, the fact that Amazon Prime Video is now available in 200 countries but is still relatively difficult to stream on the big screen could have something to do with it. Even here in Australia, where we love video streaming with a passion, you need to have a pretty new TV from LG, Sony or Samsung to really get the full big-screen experience.

Amazon is spending up big on original content for its Prime Video platform. But if it's hard for users to actually access that content on their expensive TVs, there's little incentive to sign up to the platform. And while Amazon plays in the hardware space, the different regulations in different countries around the world likely make the decision to piggyback off the Apple TV a much easier option.

Especially if the two customers have come to "acceptable business terms".

Chromecast on demand

In what can only be described as a "finally" moment, SBS On Demand has updated its iOS app to incorporate Chromecast support.

While Android owners have been able to beam their SBS catchup to the big screen through the Chromecast puck for ages, iOS users have been stuck with AirPlay. That's all well and good for owners of an Apple TV, but anyone hoping to leverage the cheaper Chromecast device were all out of luck.

To take advantage of the newfangled Chromecast streaming from iOS, you'll need to update your On Demand app from the App Store.

Netflix upsetting the French

It may be a cliché of the highest order, but there's no denying that Netflix is a major disruptor. It has not only changed the way television is consumed, and is taking the fight to box office dollars with its original movies, and now it seems the company is upsetting the films awards circuit.

This year's Cannes Film Festival features two Netflix movies: Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories. But the French organisers of the festival are not happy with the fact that Netflix isn't actually releasing those films in French theatres, and has gone and changed the rules to make a French theatre release a compulsory component of entering the awards.

At this stage, it's unclear whether Netflix will boycott next year's awards and stick to its guns, or go about adding a theatrical release to its new film launches. But it's going to be fascinating to see if other Film Festivals will follow suit, in an attempt to limit the Netflix effect on Box Office receipts.

Trailer of the week: Twin Peaks again

I know I was all excited last week by the Twin Peaks marketing machine launching a new trailer, but as the May 22 launch date gets closer, Stan just keeps on sending us snippets of the upcoming show. In this one, we get a half-second shot of Albert (played by the late Miguel Ferrer), which is enough to get the hype juices flowing

Over on the Netflix side of the fence, we're getting closer and closer to the return of House of Cards, which means its time for some political advertising. Weirdly though, this ad comes from Down Under...



Each week, View Finder rounds up the latest news in TV and movie streaming in Australia.

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