Original Content podcast: Apple’s ‘Amazing Stories’ is thoroughly unamazing

It’s been two-and-a-half years since the news first broke that Steven Spielberg would be rebooting his ’80s anthology series “Amazing Stories” for Apple’s then-unnamed streaming service.

Now, after some behind-the-scenes drama, “Amazing Stories” has launched on Apple TV+, with the first two segments currently available. The first, “The Cellar,” is a time travel romance, while “The Heat” is a combination ghost story/murder mystery/sports drama.

As we explain on the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, it’s hard to tell exactly who this show was made for. Both of the episodes aired so far get pretty goofy, as if the show was made for kids — but they also move into surprisingly dark territory. Both start with familiar setups, then take some surprising twists and turns, but the results aren’t very satisfying.

In the end, it was hard for any of us to muster any enthusiasm for watching the show’s remaining three episodes.

You can listen to our full review in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple . You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:

0:00 Intro
0:44 “Amazing Stories” review
25:50 “Amazing Stories” spoiler discussion

Source: techcrunch.com

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Apple TV+ Joins Netflix, YouTube in Cutting Streaming Quality to European Viewers

Apple TV+ has joined Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming services in reducing the streaming quality of its service to reduce the strain on internet networks in Europe.

European officials have asked streaming services operating in Europe to reduce the bit-rate of their video streams to reduce the amount of bandwidth they use to reduce the strain on provider networks. Usage of streaming services has increased substantially in Europe in recent weeks, due to the COVID-19 coronavirus stay-at-home lockdowns in the region.

All Apple TV+ content is normally available in HD and 4K formats. However, for the foreseeable future, the service’s viewing experience will be severely reduced. 9to5Mac reports the service appears to be serving video streams with resolutions as low as 670 pixels tall. The streams also appear to be heavily compressed with visible artifacts.

In addition to Apple TV+, European viewers are seeing reduced streaming quality from other streaming services, including YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others. The 9to5Mac report indicates that while Amazon Prime and Netflix’s streams are still approaching HD quality, Apple’s streams resemble something you’d expect on your phone while connected to a 3G network.

At least Apple TV+ viewers aren’t currently paying a 4K price for SD streams, as the service’s subscription price is a set price for any quality. Some Netflix customers are complaining that they are paying for the service’s 4K plan and are receiving SD streams, and are calling for the service to temporarily reduce prices until they can return to delivering full-quality streams.

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Source: mactrast.com

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User Experience: Disney+ behind Netflix, but equal to Amazon

Disney+, which will launch in many European countries on March 24, 2020, has a user experience equal to Amazon Prime Video, but still clearly lags behind industry leader Netflix.

This is the result of a large-scale user experience study conducted by German advanced TV solutions provider TeraVolt, analysing the user experience of various streaming services in 28 categories.

In the survey, Netflix scored 83 out of a total of 100 possible points, followed by Amazon Prime Video (68) and Disney+ (67.5). Apple TV+, which launched last November, follows with just 49 points.

Disney+ scores particularly well in the administration category, which includes managing login data and subscriptions. In this area the challenger reaches 95%.

Content discovery (83%), for example the display of content and auto-play, as well as personalisation (74%) and performance (79%) are also in a very good range, considering Disney+ was only launched recently. However, video playback (69%) and cross-device use and downloads (68%) have a clear need for improvement.

As a result, Disney+ is on a par with Netflix only in the administration and content discovery clusters, but is clearly at a disadvantage in all others. On the other hand, Disney+ leaves Amazon Prime Video behind in terms of personalisation and content discovery.

“Our analysis shows that Disney has already done many things very well in the short time available, in some cases even better than Amazon and Apple,” said Tobias Fröhlich, co-founder and managing director at TeraVolt, adding that, on the other hand, Amazon has failed to optimise the browser version of its streaming service.

“With its streaming service, Apple’s focus lies on selling even more hardware. Not surprisingly, Apple+ therefore performs much better using the smartphone app than the browser,” said Fröhlich.

Source: broadbandtvnews.com

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Apple Suspends Active Filming of All Apple TV+ Series

Apple has suspended all active filming of Apple TV+ series from outside studios, temporarily halting work on “The Morning Show,” “Foundation,” “See,” “Lisey’s Story,” “Servant,” and “For All Mankind,” in an effort to prevent cast members and crew of the shows from catching the coronavirus

It had been announced yesterday that “The Morning Show” was shutting down production temporarily in order to prevent the spreading of the virus among cast and crew members.

“The Morning Show” was filming its second season, as were “See,” “Servant” and “For All Mankind.” “Foundation” and “Lisey’s Story,” were filming their inaugural seasons.

In related coronavirus production shutdown news, NBCUniversal has either suspended production or accelerated the season wrap schedules on 35 shows (scripted, unscripted and syndicated). Meanwhile, CBS has done the same with a fair amount of its series. Other networks and studios are taking things on a case-by-case scenario.

Netflix has also shut down the physical production of all scripted TV and film for two weeks in The United States and Canada. Disney TV Studios has ceased filming of 16 series pilots, and Warner Bros. Television Group has stopped production on TV shows and pilots that were in the works.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)

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Source: mactrast.com

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Beastie Boys Story — Official Trailer | Apple TV+

The story of 3 friends who inspired each other and the world. Beastie Boys Story coming April 24 to Apple TV+ and in select IMAX theaters on April 2.

Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz tell you an intimate, personal story of their band and 40 years of friendship in this live documentary experience directed by their longtime friend and collaborator and former hall monitor, Spike Jonze. Learn more about Beastie Boys Story on the Apple TV app: http://apple.co/_beastieboysstory

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Stories to believe in. Apple TV+ is a streaming service with original stories from the most creative minds in TV and film. Watch now on the Apple TV app: https://apple.co/_AppleTVapp

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Another Apple TV+ Series Goes on Coronavirus-Related Hiatus

The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak continues to have effects across the world, and the television industry is no exception. Yesterday we learned Apple TV+ series “The Morning Show” has temporarily shut down production as a result of coronavirus concerns.

Now we’ve heard of another Another Apple TV+ production that has gone on a coronavirus-related hiatus. Foundation – Apple’s upcoming science fiction series starring Lee Pace and Jared Harris – has shut down production. The series was being filmed in Ireland, which has seen 70 COVID-19 cases so far.

Deadline reports the production shutdown decision follows an announcement by Irish Prime Minister An Taoiseach about the country’s COVID-19 restrictive measures, which include the canceling of any indoor mass gatherings of 100 people or more and outdoor mass gatherings of more than 500 people.

“Skydance, along with Apple, have made the decision to temporarily suspend filming on Foundation, the styudio said in a statement to Deadline Thursday night. “The health and safety of our cast and crew is our top priority and we are closely monitoring the situation.”

Statistical modeling puts Ireland on track for an outbreak similar to that faced by Italy, assuming the outbreak there follows what has been worldwide trends. In related news, an Apple employee at Apple’s Cork, Ireland campus tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday.

Othe TV and movie productions are facing similar shutdowns. “NeXt,” a Fox TV show, and “Riverdale,” a CW show, both have crew members who have come down with coronavirus.

Actor and American treasure Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have both come down with the virus while in Australia. Hanks and Wilson were visiting Australia’s Gold Coast for the pre-production of Baz Luhrmann‘s untitled Elvis Presley biopic, in which he plays the music icon’s longtime manager Colonel Tom Parker.

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Source: mactrast.com

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Apple TV+’s ‘The Morning Show’ Goes on Coronavirus-Preventative Filming Hiatus

The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak continues to spread around the world, causing cancelations of sporting events, conventions, meetings, and other events. It is also taking its toll on the filming of movies and TV shows. Apple TV+ series “The Morning Show” is shutting down production temporarily in order to prevent the spreading of the virus among cast and crew members.

“The Morning Show” was filming its second season. The show stars Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carrell.

Deadline reports the decision was made by both “The Morning Show” studio Media Res and Apple and was merely decided upon out of a desire for caution and was not prompted by any possible exposure on the set.

“In concert with our dedicated partners at Apple, we have concluded it would be prudent to take a two-week hiatus to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the incredible people who make this show,” said Michael Ellenberg, Founder and CEO of Media Res.

While no actors or crew members on “The Morning Show” set have come down with the virus, other shows and movies have not been so lucky. “NeXt,” a Fox TV show, and “Riverdale,” a CW show, both have crew members who have come down with coronavirus.

Perhaps most notably, actor and American treasure Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have both come down with the virus while in Australia. Hanks and Wilson were visiting Australia’s Gold Coast for the pre-production of Baz Luhrmann‘s untitled Elvis Presley biopic, in which he plays the music icon’s longtime manager Colonel Tom Parker.

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Source: mactrast.com

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Central Park — Official Trailer | Apple TV+

A musical walk in the park. Watch Central Park on May 29 on the Apple TV app: https://apple.co/_CentralPark

Central Park is an animated musical comedy from Emmy® Award-winner Loren Bouchard (Bob’s Burgers) that follows the exploits of a family living in the world’s most famous park. The series voice cast includes Josh Gad, Leslie Odom, Jr., Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Tituss Burgess, Daveed Diggs, and Stanley Tucci.

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Stories to believe in. Apple TV+ is a streaming service with original stories from the most creative minds in TV and film. Watch now on the Apple TV app: https://apple.co/_AppleTVapp

#CentralPark #Trailer #AppleTV

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Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of tvOS 13.4 to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple on Tuesday released the fifth beta of tvOS 13.4 to developers and beta testers for testing. The new betas come one week after the fourth beta release.

The tvOS 13.4 beta is compatible with fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. The new beta can be downloaded to a compatible Apple TV that has the proper profile installed. The public beta is also available.

The beta includes minor design changes to streamline the look of the TV app interface. It also introduces Family Sharing integration to allow users to access iTunes content purchased by family members without having to leave the app.

It also includes the usual bug fixes and performance enhancements. If we hear of any other new features, we’ll be sure to fill you in right here.

As usual, MacTrast and Apple both warn users to not install any betas on your daily driver Apple TV, instead only install betas on a device set aside for testing purposes.

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Source: mactrast.com

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