Hulu Plus’ repertoire of entertainment is getting an injection from CBS in the form of classic shows. CBS has agreed to add more programming to the mix in the form of 2,600 episodes–including classics such as The Brady Bunch, Cheers, Happy Days, Everybody Loves Raymond, and The United States of Tara. On the kids side of the spectrum, Hulu is planning an expansion and has signed a deal to be the exclusive U.S. distributor of The Doozers, a spinoff of the popular ‘80s show Fraggle Rock.
Archive for category: Home Theatre
SIM2 multimedia is a name you may not be familiar with…but home theater enthusiasts may want to pay attention, as they have just launched a new line of next-generation DLP projectors bringing home cinema to new heights. The italian manufacturer, known for video performance and innovation, has released its latest lineup of 3-chip DLP projectors to bring Hollywood-quality movie experiences to your home. Promising state-of-the-art image quality, the new Grand Cinema projectors may be a bit hard on the wallet for some (with prices ranging from $26,000 to $120,000); but for those with the means, as well as the space, they could be the perfect centerpiece for your home theater. For more on the new offerings from SIM2, check the full release after the jump.
Do you like singing? Do you like your friends yelling notes that sort of resemble sounds that may or may not be in the song you were attempting to recreate? Then you need to check out Singing Machine’s newest addition: “The Home.” Built with fun and convenience in mind, The Home is a big party in a relatively small package. Featuring dual functionality as both a Bluetooth speaker and a karaoke machine, The Home offers instant access to over 8000 HD karaoke music videos while connecting to your home theater via HDMI. A sleek remote (that also functions as a mic) rounds out the features and helps create a seamless experience from selecting a song to singing it. The Home retails for $299 and can be found at BestBuy.com or your local Best Buy store.
Sure, it’s fun to read all of the latest tech news and reviews; but while in your car, wouldn’t it be easier (and safer) to simply listen to us? Well you can…on YourTechReport Radio–every Saturday at 1pm Eastern on SiriusXM channel 167. On this week’s show, Marc and I will fill you in on Samsung’s new Galaxy Round–the first smartphone with a flexible display; we’ll also be giving you the latest news from Apple and Microsoft, as well as answering your questions in our “You Asked for It” segment. For those without a SiriusXM subscription, we’ll be posting the show right here after it airs.
Apple TV finally got its rumored software update bringing iTunes Radio, AirPlay from iCloud, and new channels to the “hobby” device. Version 6.0 allows you to browse and buy music from the iTunes Store, sync podcasts across your Apple devices, view photos and videos from your Photostream, and a couple of more goodies under the hood. The UI itself has not changed much, making it a breeze to navigate if you already know your way around. Check it out, and let us know what you think!
[Updated: Apple has silently pulled the update after reports that it rendered some Apple TV devices locked up and bricked.]
The message I was greeted with upon turning on my Xbox 360 today represented more than just an update to my dashboard–it represents a huge shift in Microsoft’s console business model, as “Microsoft Points” no longer exist. You heard that right…from this point on (assuming you’ve received the Fall Dashboard Update that’s rolling out as you’re reading this), all transactions made through Xbox Live will now be made in your local currency instead of with MS Points. As for your existing points? Don’t worry…they haven’t gone anywhere; as soon as you go to make a purchase, the system notifies you of the switch and converts your existing points into their equal value in your local currency. Also, if you still have Microsoft Points gift cards that you haven’t used, they will also convert to the proper dollar amount once you’ve entered the code through Live. Sure, I’ll miss the carefree feeling of spending points as if they had no real monetary value–but I won’t miss having to buy more points than I needed simply because I was a few points short when trying to make a purchase.
While there were a number of exciting announcements today (really confirmations) about Android 4.3 and the Nexus 7, one piece of gear actually took me by surprise. Google is making another push into our living rooms.
Chromecast is a $35 HDMI dongle, about the size of flash memory drive, which connects any TV to the web using a scaled down version of Chrome OS. It’s controlled by iOS or Android apps. For example, search for a video on Youtube, and press a Cast button to send it to your TV. Chromecast will see that signal, turn your TV on, switch it to the correct input, then stream the video. We also saw a demonstration of a new Netflix app where control of what was streaming was seamlessly passed between a Nexus 7 and an iPhone. No surprise that Google Play Movies & TV will support this control as well.
Chromecast will also support Chrome browser tab sharing. If you’re looking at something on your laptop, you can send the tab to your TV. This functionality is currently in BETA, but already seems to be working on Chromebook Pixel, Windows 8, and OSX Chrome browsers.
This appears to be a slightly more robust solution than some of the DLNA apps I’ve seen. Chromecast is actually pulling from the web on its own, so your phone or tablet doesn’t get tied up. We’ve seen pushes into this kind of streaming before using devices like game consoles, but it looks like Google wants more control over the whole experience. Plus, people who order early will also receive three free months of Netflix streaming. Not bad.
It would appear Google TV and Nexus Q type solutions are dead now?
Chromecast will be available for sale today, and orders placed today should ship by August 2nd.
The perils of being a moderately successful start up. You create a popular service, but it can’t quite sustain itself. When you become attractive, and your feature set is desirable, a larger company swoops in and gobbles you up. Then changes happen, and your users get scared.
Tel Aviv based Boxee is now a perfect example of that transition. The people using Boxee were passionate devotees of the service, but they never quite cracked into the same kind of mind share occupied by companies like Roku, or game consoles for streaming video.
Unfortunately, this buyout will come at the expense of Boxee’s unlimited cloud DVR. For $10 per month, Boxee users were able to keep recordings forever and store an unlimited amount of video to the cloud. I can’t say I’m surprised this feature is getting the axe as it’s somewhat unsustainable, and this Samsung acquisition stands to push this service into a bigger spotlight.
For around $30 million, Samsung will now absorb the Boxee team of around 45 people into its stable of talent. We’re not entirely sure what that will resemble yet, if the Boxee service will be exclusive to Smart TV’s and other devices, or if we’ll see a new generation of Boxee Boxes which can be connected to smart and “dumb” TV’s. Seeing as how previous generations of Boxee Boxes were built by D-Link, we can at least be confident in future hardware being brought in-house.
We can also be confident that this acquisition will push Samsung’s ecosystem. Sammy has been very aggressive in embracing protocols like DLNA which allow people to stream audio and video between different devices–like phones and TV’s. Boxee is an excellent service for improving and evolving their media environment.
Now we play the waiting game to see what Samsung will do.
When we first told you about Shield (NVIDIA’s Handheld console with built-in HD Screen, capable of playing Android games as well as streaming full PC games from your computer) back in January, the reaction was universally positive–and today, Shield’s release date has officially become June 27th. But that’s not all. It seems that when NVIDIA asked gamers to pick a “sweet spot” for Shield’s price, the number that came back most often was a very reasonable $299–and guess what? NVIDIA listened…and dropped the price, before its launch, to $299. Talk about a company that loves its customers!
We’ve very politely begged our friends at NVIDIA to get one in our hands for a full review before its release next week; but until, you can check out NVIDIA’s blog post by clicking here.
In a somewhat ironic turn of events, after winning the PR war at this year’s E3 by marketing the PS4 as a console that will work without an internet snooping connection, Sony’s latest update to the PS3 is turning consoles into fancy monolithic paperweights.
If at all possible, users should avoid installing system update 4.45, which in some cases, causes the UI to completely disappear.
I’m not sure yet if this is to help advertise upcoming Call of Duty: Ghosts (disappearing UI) or The Last of Us (in which a brick turns out to be a very effective weapon).
Sony has reportedly pulled the update, but if it’s sent your way, avoid it like the plague.