Smart TV Stories October 19, 2018

Over the months, we’ve followed a variety of prototypes for Google’s Fuchsia OS, each filling a different niche from Google’s current product line. This week on Fuchsia Friday, we look at the latest prototype, Sherlock, and some of the possible form factors it could take.

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Smart TV Stories April 11, 2016

Affordable RCA 4K Android TVs will be available in June, starting at $499 for 50-inch model

While Google’s latest approach to smart TVs involves Google Cast, Android TV is still around with new partners and models announced at CES earlier in the year. Now, RCA has revealed details and pricing for its new line of 4K Android TV sets that will be available in June.

Smart TV Stories September 8, 2015

Rdio adds support for Google Cast for audio, more connected speaker systems & smart TVs

Popular music streaming service Rdio is today announcing an expansion of its support for connected speaker systems and smart TVs, including Google’s new Google Cast for Audio platform introduced earlier this year. 

In addition to supporting speakers that integrate Google’s Cast for audio platform, the music service is now available on Harman/Kardon, Denon, and the DTS Play-Fi Whole-Home Wireless ecosystem featuring leading brands such as Definitive Technology, Phorus, Polk Audio and Wren. The company also noted that it’s now available on Samsung smart TVs and arriving soon on smart TVs from LG and Hisense.

Previously Rdio was only available on Sonos speakers and setup boxes like the Apple TV and Google Chromecast.

Rdio is available free with ads or as an ad-free service for $9.99/month unlimited or on certain devices for $3.99/month with a limited number of on demand songs per day.

Smart TV Stories November 12, 2014

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Xiaomi, the Chinese Android manufacturer which heavily bases its product designs and marketing on Apple products, is to invest $1B in the Chinese YouTube equivalent, Youku.

Xiaomi has long been aware of the importance of an integrated hardware-and-services offering, initially selling its smartphones at cost-price in order to build market share, relying on its app store to generate profits. A tie-in with a video service makes similar sense – smartphones and tablets providing an audience for video content, and video content driving demand for devices on which to view it – but the move is likely to be primarily driven by Xiaomi’s move into the smart TV market …   expand full story

Smart TV Stories May 22, 2014

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Sure, you could plug a Chromecast into your regular smart TV, but where’s the fun in that? Today, Hisense announced the availability of its new 55-inch LED TV that might just make you try something crazy. In addition to a sub-$700 price tag and 120Hz refresh rate, this slim boob tube just so happens to run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. So you’ll be able to run several media-friendly apps like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Instant Video and Chrome.

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Smart TV Stories January 2, 2014

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Usually-reliable source @evleaks has tweeted a photo of what is said to be LG’s new smart TV running webOS, as LG officially announced the world’s largest 4K OLED TV “incorporating LG’s newest smart TV platform.”

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Smart TV Stories September 10, 2013

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The latest Roku for Android app allows video as well as audio and photos to be streamed to a Roku set-top box – but only for a limited number of devices.

Play your video from select Android devices to your Roku player. Supported models include: Samsung Galaxy SIII, Samsung Galaxy S4, Nexus 4, HTC One, and Nexus 7 (2012 model). Video playback requires Android 4.0 or later …  expand full story

Smart TV Stories July 2, 2013

Google-TV

Google has been accused of using “coercive sales tactics” in an attempt to pressure Smart TV manufacturers to adopt its own Google TV platform for YouTube rather than HTML5 based approaches, reports Korean news site ETNews.

Smart TV operators who opted for open-source HTML5 in order to avoid dependance on Google, have bumped into an obstacle – YouTube […] According to industry insiders, Google has demanded HTML5-based Smart TV operators should place the YouTube app on the main homepage and pass browser conformity tests [which] take up to several months.

An industry insider said “Telling us where the YouTube app should be placed is an act of coercive sales tactics.” expand full story

Smart TV Stories May 10, 2013

Chromebook-PixelKGI Securities analyst Mingchi Kuo, who has been known to have accurate information regarding Apple product launches in the past, is out today with a new note that includes some surprisingly specific specs for upcoming products from Google. One of the products Kuo expects to see at Google I/O later this month is a new Nexus 7, but the note also included info on what he thinks Google has in store for the months after the event, including: an Android powered notebook, a new TV product, and even a Google smart watch.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about an Android-powered notebook over the years, and just last month Intel executives confirmed that the majority of its new sub-$200 notebooks running on its mobile Atom CPU will be Android based. However, according to Mingchi, don’t expect to see the notebooks making an appearance at I/O this year. That’s because Android 5.0 won’t be ready to show off at I/O, says Kuo, but vendors such as Samsung will apparently move first with Android 4.x powered notebooks coming within 3-4 months:

Android Book – Android Book won’t be introduced at the upcoming Google I/O as development of Android 5.0, which is targeted at NB, is incomplete. We think Android Book featuring Android.4x will be rolled out in the coming 3-4 months because some brand vendors, like Samsung (Korea), want to move first. But shipments will be limited as the current Android OS isn’t well supported for laptops.

As for Google’s rumored over-the-top TV content business, Mingchi says an Apple TV-like competitor is on the way but delays due to a change to Nvidia Tegra from TI OMAP means we likely won’t see it at I/O. Kuo also said in his note to clients today that he expects Google to launch a smart watch-like wearable device alongside Google Glass, but it apparently won’t go into mass production until next year: expand full story

Smart TV Stories April 22, 2013

Wise Tivi has introduced an Android-based HDMI stick that brings apps, web browsing and gaming to your HDTV.

Among its features include access to YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and Vimeo, as well as Android web browsers like Chrome and Firefox which support the Adobe Flash protocol.

Wise TiVi is currently accepting funding on Indiepogo and expects to ship this July.

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Smart TV Stories June 26, 2012

While we already got a look at its Google TV plans during the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, Vizio made things official today for its “Co-Star” Google TV streaming box by giving it a $99 price tag and pre-order date set for July. The Co-Star goes a little bit beyond the typical Google TV experience, providing a skinned UI with HTML5 Chrome browser, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and iHeartRadio apps built-in. It also has OnLive for the first time ever on a Google TV set-top box. The box will come with a double-sided Bluetooth remote with a full QWERTY keyboard on one side and a number and touchpad on the other. We do not have specifics on a release date, but Vizio plans to start taking preorders next month.

“Our focus to deliver the best consumer experience continues with today’s announcement of the Co-Star, which delivers a superior smart TV interface that anyone can add to their existing HDTV,” said Matt McRae, VIZIO’s Chief Technology Officer. “We combined the powerful features of Google TV™ with an intuitive and easy to use interface, giving users the power to enjoy an entire world of entertainment.”

Reports claimed yesterday that Google is getting ready to unveil some new updates to the Google TV platform tomorrow at its Google I/O keynote, including: combined content browsing for Netflix, DVR, and TV content, and AirPlay-like features for sharing content between devices. expand full story

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