iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch will be big holiday gifts this year, make no mistake about it. The Apple TV is actually a fantastic complement to Apple's handhelds, worthy of being featured in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. A nice little device in its own right, the Apple TV gives you access to Apple's iTunes Store entertainment content right on your television. In addition, you get Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, sports networks, and plenty of other entertainment options. Connect it to your iTunes Home Share, and you can use your iOS devices as remote controls for the Apple TV. The best part, though, is AirPlay. You can beam audio and video content right to the Apple TV with ease from your iOS device, or your Mac. You can also mirror the display of these devices as well, all wireless over your home network.
Honorable Mention: Roku 2 XS Streaming Player
Read More | Apple TV
TiVo has launched a trio of next-generation Series 5 DVRs in the new TiVo Roamio family. What makes Roamio so much better than Premiere? How about more of everything that people love about TiVo? We're talking more tuners, more space to store your recordings, and even a less expensive service fee. The crowning feature, though, is that the TiVo Roamio boxes have both Wi-Fi and the ability to stream to mobile devices built right in--no need to purchase the TiVo Wi-Fi dongle, or the recently-released TiVo Stream.
It's been almost two years since TiVo released the Premiere Elite line of DVRs, and unlike the previous generation, the improvements in the Roamio line are immediately apparent. TiVo even says that Roamio is, on average, 1.7x faster than the previous TiVos, and that's a welcome change because browsing through the menus was a time-consuming experience at times. We go through all three Roamio DVRs after the break, but if you've been waiting for them and just want to buy now, here are the links:
- TiVo Roamio - $199: 4 tuners, OTA support, up to 75 hours
- TiVo Roamio Plus - $399: 6 tuners, up to 150 hours
- TiVo Roamio Pro - $599: 6 tuners, up to 450 hours
Well, the rumors were correct on the mysterious device that momentarily showed up on Google's support page. The Chromecast is a media dongle that allows you to sling web content the web and cloud-stored content, using a smartphone or Chrome browser as a remote control. It's a bummer that it still doesn't have the ability to stream or mirror content stored on the device like Apple's AirPlay, but hey, for $35, we can't complain.
Read More | Google
Apple has just announced a new software update for the Apple TV that brings HBO Go and WatchESPN to the platform. Additionally, live UK Sky News streaming, access to Crunchyroll (an anime video site) videos, and Qello, a music/documentary streaming service.
“HBO GO and WatchESPN are some of the most popular iOS apps and are sure to be huge hits on Apple TV,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We continue to offer Apple TV users great new programming options, combined with access to all of the incredible content they can purchase from the iTunes Store.”
In order to activate HBO GO and WatchESPN, you'll need to be subscribed to the right cable provider, and you'll activate them using a code from your provider. Sky News provides free streaming in the US, UK, and Ireland.
You can download Apple TV 5.3 software update now for your second- and third-generation Apple TV to get the new hotness right away.
Read More | Apple
It's becoming customary within the Apple community to conceptualize ideas of future Apple products and software. In this case, Sam Beckett conceptualizes what the mythical Apple TV set, or iTV, display may look like and how it might behave. Interactions, mostly done by way of an iOS device, in this case are done with an iPad mini. This, of course, is opposed to using the often confusing button-riddled TV remote. Interacting and navigating is user-friendly and intuitive while using DVR functions, swiping between channels using gestures, using Siri and Genius content recommendations, etc. In addition, apps are served up as channels, and the user would have the ability to tie into their cable provider of choice if they aren't ready to cut the cord. I don't know about you, but we're digging this much. Watch the video after the snappy break.
Netflix's Neil Hunt wants to make 4K streaming a thing in your home. The Netflix exclusive House of Cards, headlined by Kevin Spacey, is the current target for 4K streaming, says Hunt. As it turns out, much of the series was shot in 4K.
"Our own original House of Cards was shot in 4K," Hunt said to The Verge. "It's being mastered in full HD, but the raw footage, or a good chunk of it, was shot in 4K, and we hope to have some House of Cards 4K encodes later this year." Hunt believes 4K "will likely be streamed first before it goes anywhere else," and he plans to deliver the ultra high definition format through Netflix within the next couple of years.
Read More | The Verge
Media streaming enthusiasts have a new toy to play with! The new Roku 3 has launched and is ready to wage war for its place in the living room against other streaming alternatives like the Apple TV. The Roku 3 has improved internals, new glossy hockey puck hardware look and a much needed revamped user interface to navigate those 700 channels. However, it still doesn't have YouTube!
As far as internal hardware specs go, the Roku 3 is now housing a dual-band Wi-Fi, assuming it now runs in the 5 Ghz frequency. Inside, it has a new faster processor which is said to be much faster than its other variant predecessors, like the Roku 2 XS. Additionally, it has a USB port, ethernet, HDMI, SD card slot, and digital in.
Read More | Roku
Elgato has stepped into the game capture card market with its Game Capture HD device. Connecting through HDMI, high-definition video can be captured at up to 1080p (after a recent update) on either your Windows or Mac computer. One of the biggest draws to this product is that it’s a self-powered, external capture card allowing use a laptop to capture from the comfort of your living room.
The Game Capture HD was designed to be used with all of your favorite gaming consoles and has even been updated to work directly with the newly released Wii U. As an avid Playstation gamer, the only “issue” with in in Sony’s HDCP protection with HDMI connections. Elgato has us covered though and provides a special AV cable that runs into the PS3’s multi-port to capture HD gameplay and audio. While the Game Capture HD was created with game consoles in mind, any non-HDCP protected devices with HDMI outs can be captured, including iOS devices and computers.
iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch will be big holiday gifts this year, make no mistake about it. The Apple TV is actually a fantastic complement to Apple's handhelds, worthy of being featured in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. A nice little device in its own right, the Apple TV gives you access to Apple's iTunes Store entertainment content right on your television. In addition, you get Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, sports networks, and plenty of other entertainment options. Connect it to your iTunes Home Share, and you can use your iOS devices as remote controls for the Apple TV. The best part, though, is AirPlay. You can beam audio and video content right to the Apple TV with ease from your iOS device, or your Mac. You can also mirror the display of these devices as well, all wireless over your home network.
You can pick up the Apple TV for $99, or $94.95 on Amazon.
Honorable Mention: Roku 2 XS Streaming Player
Read More | Apple TV
Time Warner CEO, Jeff Bewkes, reiterates wishful sentiments from the cable company that Apple make their own branded television set, and shake up the entire industry, when the question was asked of him at a conference.
"I hope they do," he said, "I think Apple is a great device company."
The Time Warner CEO thinks that Apple can solve the go-to-market-strategy problem with the cable/content business.
"They bring good interface and navigation skills,"
Perhaps an à la carte hardware system is already in the making at the secretive Cupertino labs. Who knows, maybe television and content executives are already privy to the details while deals are being established. Gear Live has reported that Time Warner COO, Rob Marcos, stated that the cable company would be willing to cede control of user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) as long as they can still maintain a relationship with customers.
"It's really all about maximizing the capabilities to get Time Warner customers the best possible experience."
Read More | Business Insider
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