Today we’re comparing the forth generation Apple TV to the NVIDIA Shield. These are quite possibly the two best set top boxes out right now. I won’t be going into every little detail here, but instead the things that are most important for myself. But before we get in-depth with either option, let’s take a look at specifications between the two…
set-top box Stories November 7, 2015
set-top box Stories June 15, 2015
NVIDIA’s SHIELD Android TV box is already becoming known as one of the best set-top boxes to ever exist, and now it’s getting even better. Thanks to a recent update, version number 1.2, the device is getting support for 4K resolution in the Photos & Videos app, optimized streaming of Netflix and Google Play Movies, enhancements to NVIDIA’s GameStream service, and other enhancements. expand full story
set-top box Stories June 9, 2015
set-top box Stories March 3, 2015
NVIDIA announced a set-top box version of its popular Shield portable gaming system tonight during the Game Developers Conference. The new Shield runs on Android and has full access to the Play Store along with a new Shield Store. The device functions as a cross between a gaming console and a media center.
The Shield is capable of outputting 4K video at 60Hz—a first for Android-based set-top boxes—and features a remote control that doubles as a Bluetooth listening device. Users can plug a pair of headphones into the remote to have audio from their content re-routed directly to their ears instead of their TV speakers or home theater system.
set-top box Stories June 24, 2014
Earlier today, Bloomberg published a profile of Android head Sundar Pichai in which it was stated that Google has several Android TV announcements slated for its I/O developer conference tomorrow. The WSJ has now published another report corroborating the earlier profile. According to the report, Google on Wednesday will unveil at least one “small set-top box” running its new Android TV operating system.
set-top box Stories May 30, 2014
Google is about to launch a new Android TV platform at its upcoming Google I/O conference in June, according to a new report from GigaOM. The report claims the new platform will be a revamped vision of what Google already has with its Google TV platform and will focus mainly on online content and Android gaming rather than integrating with existing pay TV services:
Android TV won’t be another device, but rather a platform that manufacturers of TVs and set-top boxes can use to bring streaming services to the television. In that way, it is similar to Google TV, the platform the company unveiled at its 2010 Google I/O conference. But while Google TV was focused on marrying existing pay TV services with apps, Android TV will at least initially be all about online media services and Android-based video games.
Google has apparently been making deals with partners in the lead up to launching the new platform, some of which are said to include Netflix and Hulu Plus as well as hardware partners that will build and sell the Android TV devices. The report also shared some details on the Android TV UI: expand full story
set-top box Stories March 11, 2014
According to a new report out of PandoDaily, Google has just acquired the Santa Clara-based Green Throttle Games. The report claims that Google has acquired the parts and labor of the company and that it plans to use it in its quest to develop a set-top box.
A Google spokesperson confirmed that a deal has been made between the two companies, but would not give specific information. The deal reportedly does consist of Matt Crowley and Karl Townsend, who worked on the first iteration of the Palm Pilot and are co-founders of Green Throttle Games.
Green Throttle Games launched in 2012 and set out to create a seamless gaming experience with Android devices. The company sold a custom ‘Atlas’ controller that worked with Android devices that had their Android Arena app installed. The controller would work with Android devices via BlueTooth. The technology never really took off and was criticized for being buggy and too far behind its competitors.
set-top box Stories December 6, 2013
For the past few months, rumors have been swirling that another living room device will soon be released by Google. In July, the Wall Street Journal reported on a device with a motion sensor and video camera, while GigaOM reported in October that Google was planning to drop the Google TV branding in favor of “Android TV.” This time around, The Information’s Amir Efrati reports that Google is planning to release a “Nexus TV” set-top box that will run Android.
set-top box Stories October 3, 2013
This morning we reported that Amazon had trademarked FireTube, and the trademark could serve as a name for the company’s long-rumored TV product. Now, the WSJ follows up by claiming said device is on Amazon’s roadmap for the holiday season. Here are some of the details on the device:
- Will compete with the Roku and Apple TV
- Will stream Amazon Prime content
- Will run third-party media apps and gaming content
- Amazon is working on a dedicated remote for the device, but it could also be controlled via smartphone/tablet apps
Of course, the device could be shelved at the last minute, but given the uptake in reports about an Amazon TV device, today’s trademark discovery, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s want to expand his company’s hardware portfolio, it seems likely that the device truly is in the imminent Amazon product pipeline.
set-top box Stories August 9, 2013
According to a new report from GameInformer, sources have informed the publication that Amazon is working on a new Android-based gaming console that could land as early as the end of this year. There’s not much to go on other than the fact that the console is said to have its own dedicated hardware controller and take advantage of content already available through the Amazon Appstore. The news follows a report from Bloomberg in April that claimed Amazon is planning to release a set-top-box to compete with Apple and Google.
According to those we spoke with who have knowledge of the in-development hardware, Amazon will be leveraging the titles already available on its platform. Each day, the company offers one productivity or game app for free and stocks a healthy library for its own devices, like the Kindle Fire. The console will also have its own, dedicated controller.
The two reports could very well be describing the same product, and VentureBeat adds that it has heard similar rumors but nothing solid enough to post prior to the GameInformer story. It’s also worth noting that Amazon has continued to hire game developers for its recently launched Amazon Game Studios, which published its first mobile title on iOS and Android last year.
Of course an Android console from Amazon makes us think of the $99 OUYA and the upcoming GamePop consoles, but whether it will be a full-fledged Apple/Google TV competitor or a dedicated gaming system is still unclear. GameInformer says the Amazon Android console will launch “most likely by Black Friday.” expand full story
set-top box Stories July 25, 2013
Hot on the heels of the Chromecast being announced yesterday, the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Google is planning yet another entry into the living room market. The publication says that Google has been secretly working on an Android-powered set-top box, similar to the Roku and Apple TV. Googler Andy Rubin allegedly showed the device off at CES 2013 earlier this year, highlighting the Android operating system and video-chatting via Hangouts feature. In addition to the camera, the device also had a motion sensor similar to Microsoft’s Kinect.
We reported earlier this year that Google was in talks with cable companies for a new service for internet TV streaming, so it’s possible that the two rumors are related.
While similar to the Chromecast, this set-top box is supposedly much more independent and does not require another device to power it. The device will be able to run a plethora of Android apps, including Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, and the Play Store.
The people briefed on Google’s plans said the set-top box Google showed off in January had a broader set of features. One of these people said the device allowed people to stream YouTube videos, watch TV shows or movies from the Google Play digital-programming store, and access Android apps such as videogames or, potentially, digital media services such as Netflix and Pandora.
set-top box Stories May 9, 2013
According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is working to expand its hardware offerings, this year, beyond the Kindle e-readers and tablets (like the Kindle Fire). According to the new report, Amazon is working on two smartphones, including a high-end model with a 3D display. Like other smartphones currently on the market, this display could be interacted with via a user’s eyes:
set-top box Stories April 24, 2013
Following in the footsteps of Apple and Google attempts at the set-top-box market, Amazon is planning to release a set-top-box, according to Bloomberg.
They say the box will plug into TVs and give users access to Amazon’s expanding video offerings. Those include its a la carte Video on Demand store, which features newer films and TV shows, and its Instant Video service, which is free for subscribers to the Amazon Prime two-day shipping package. The Amazon set-top box will compete with similar products like the Roku, Apple TV and the Boxee Cloud DVR, along with more versatile devices like the Playstation 3 and the Xbox. An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment.
The device is reportedly being developed in Amazon’s Cupertino based labs and could launch this fall. The project is reportedly being spearheaded by a former Apple and Cisco employee:
The project is being run by Malachy Moynihan, a former vice president of emerging video products at Cisco (CSCO) who worked on the networking company’s various consumer video initiatives. Moynihan also spent nine years at Apple (AAPL) during the 1980s and 1990s.
Perhaps this future product is the reason that Apple and Amazon have no deal for Amazon content streaming on the Apple TV.
set-top box Stories April 2, 2012
Sony plans to expand Google TV-based set-top-boxes to Europe starting this September.
According to GigaOM (via machine-translated Les Echos), Sony France Marketing Director Stephane Labrousse said a set-top box will sell in France for €200 ($266 USD) and another box with a built-in Blu-ray player will go for €300 ($399 USD).
Aside from a France launch, Les Echos indicated a simultaneous release in Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Google TV is currently only available in the United States, but Sony announced at Las Vegas’ 2012 Consumer Electronics Show that two Google TV-compatible set-top boxes would go international within the year.
set-top box Stories March 7, 2012
Google allegedly summoned Qatalyst Partners and Barclays Capital to help shop the asset around. However, the publication’s sources indicated Google is not likely to unload the division, because cable operators are “shunning” Motorola set-top boxes before the acquisition closes.
With that said, one source speculated a possible sale price between $2.5 billion to $4 billion.
More information is available below.
set-top box 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
set-top box Stories July 28, 2011
While we’re not quite sure how they did it, the boys from GTVhacker have ported Honeycomb to their Google TV. Photographed above is Honeycomb running on a $99 Logitech Revue, where you can see the Market is now available. In their forum post, user zenofex says they’ll have more information in the next few days. Also discovered — Google TVs are now showing up in device listings on the Market website (photo after the break). We’ll let you know when there is more information.
As you may know from our twitter, we now have a way to run Honeycomb (Android 3.1) on ANY Logitech Revue. Heres a screenshot of the market/dashboard, we’ll have more info in the next few days.
New update includes: Adbd Android Market Improved Media Player