AppleTV Stories September 25, 2013

Valve announces Steam Machines hardware beta for SteamOS

Earlier this week Valve made the first of three big announcements being teased on its website with the introduction of SteamOS: a Linux-based, open and freely licensable operating system that will run any number of devices and deliver the Steam experience in the living room. Today the company announced the second part of the puzzle with the launch of a hardware beta program for “Steam Machines” that will run the operating system:

Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world. We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014, all of them running SteamOS.

Valve has designed a “high-performance prototype” and it will ship 300 of the boxes to Steam users for free in order to test the platform:

While these products are still in development, we need your help. As always, we believe the best way to ensure that the right products are getting made is to let people try them out and then make changes as we go. We have designed a high-performance prototype that’s optimized for gaming, for the living room, and for Steam. Of course, it’s also completely upgradable and open.

The company is accepting sign-ups for the beta program until October 25. Here’s how to apply:

THE HARDWARE BETA ELIGIBILITY QUEST:

Before October 25, log in to Steam and then visit your quest page to track your current status towards beta test eligibility

1. Join the Steam Universe community group

2. Agree to the Steam Hardware Beta Terms and Conditions

3. Make 10 Steam friends (if you haven’t already)

4. Create a public Steam Community profile (if you haven’t already)

5. Play a game using a gamepad in Big Picture mode

With SteamOS, it’s not just games. Valve could quickly be on its way to making a full fledged Google TV competitor with the Steam Machines it will begin testing for an expected 2014 launch. The company noted that its SteamOS operating system will also include features for other content such as music, TV shows, and movies, and Valve is already in discussions with various media companies to make that happen.

AppleTV Stories May 16, 2012

Samsung’s shares dipped more than 6 percent yesterday, erasing $10 billion from the manufacturer’s market value, due to a rumor that claimed Apple ordered large amounts of chips with rebounding Japanese chipmaker Elpida.

According to Reuters, Taiwan tech website DigiTimes reported that the Cupertino, Calif.-based Company requested huge orders for dynamic random access memory chips with Elpida’s Hiroshima, Japan plant. Unnamed industry sources said the order fastened about 50 percent of the factory’s total chip production.

Samsung is the world’s foremost DRAM manufacturer, but its shares subsequently fell 6.2-percent to around $1,100 USD after the piping hot rumor circulated the blogosphere. The abrupt plunge is the stock’s 9-week low and sharpest daily fall in almost four years. SK Hynix is the second-largest memory chipmaker after Samsung, and its shares closed at 9 percent, which is a 20-week low and steepest slump in nine months.

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AppleTV Stories January 4, 2012

Set-top box maker Roku -one of Google TV and Apple TV’s biggest competitors- unveiled a new iteration of its award-winning Smart TV solution today. However, this time, they shrunk it down to the size of a USB stick that allows you to plug it right into your TVs MHL-enabled HDMI port. The device, called the Roku Streaming Stick, packs in built-in Wi-Fi, a processor, and memory, and includes all of the features currently available in their current set-top box.

According to Roku’s press release, the new cable-free, smaller form factor is ideal for delivering smart TV capabilities to consumers who typically do not replace their TVs often. That model differs from both Apple and Google, especially with Apple expected to launch an HDTV and Google pushing the GoogleTV platform built-in to TVs from vendors like Sony:

Today’s Smart TVs become outdated in just a couple of years because as software evolves the hardware needs to be upgraded to keep pace. While short hardware product cycles are expected with mobile devices such as smart phones, consumers generally keep their TVs for six to eight years. By moving the streaming platform to a stick that’s easily replaceable, consumers no longer have to worry about their large-screen Smart TV becoming obsolete before its time.

Official pricing has not been announced, but CEO Anthony Wood told All Things D the device would be available in the second half of 2012 for between $50 and $100. Roku also plans to have TV vendors bundle the Roku Streaming Stick with new TVs. expand full story

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