TV Gadgets & Equipment Category

TV Gadgets & Equipment

Google recently unveiled Chromecast, a $35 dongle that is able to stream content from mobile devices to your television. This is Google’s latest attempt to grab a foothold in the TV industry, which it’s going to need to be a part of as its future starts to take shape.

Chromecast

Chromecast is a dongle which plugs into an HDMI on your TV. Apps on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop will then sync with Chromecast, giving you the option to watch content from the likes of YouTube, Netflix, and Google Play on the bigscreen.

Google was initially offering three months of Netflix streaming free for anyone who bought Chromecast. But the company quickly ended that promotion citingoverwhelming demand.” In other words Chromecast was clearly going to sell well enough without such an offer, so why continue offering it.

Indeed, demand was so fierce that Chromecast quickly sold out on Google Play. The $35 price tag (with or without the Netflix offer) is cheap enough to make people make a snap purchase and not worry about whether or not it’s worth buying.

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Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, Hulu, News, TV Gadgets & Equipment, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on November 21, 2012

hulu-plus-wii-u-gamepadNintendo launched the Wii U, its new home games console, in North America on Sunday (Nov. 18). Netflix and Hulu Plus are now both available through the Wii U, and both take advantage of the GamePad tablet controller to offer a second screen experience.

Netflix

Netflix arrived on the Wii U on day one, with existing Netflix users able to access the app by signing in. Non-members are instead invited to sign up for a free trial.

The Netflix app on Wii U takes advantage of the GamePad, the tablet-style controller that is Nintendo’s big idea with this console. Information about whatever you’re watching shows up on both the television and the GamePad, while the latter acts as a remote control while content is being played on the TV.

By selecting the ‘Play on GamePad‘ option playback switches from the TV to the controller, which also supports 1080p video. In this way you can leave the room while continuing to watch whatever content was previously playing on the television.

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Posted in: News, TV Gadgets & Equipment, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on September 28, 2012

TV-Set-EthernetOnline video has grown rapidly in popularity over the last few years, going from something only tech-savvy geeks knew about to a mainstream phenomenon even your aging grandparents can handle.

This shift has coincided with streaming video becoming available via more devices, including the once-humble television set. And it’s TV that is now more popular than PC for watching online video.

TV Tops PC

In its new ‘Digital Video Outlook’ survey for 2012, NPD reports that television sets are now the prime method for watching online video. According to the poll it conducted, 45 percent of people use their TVs, while just 31 percent use their PCs. This is a polar shift, as last year the figures stood at 33% and 48% respectively.

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youview-logoYouView has been delayed once more, and this latest missed target means the set-top box and related platform won’t be out by the time the London 2012 Olympics begins. The question is whether this actually matters or not.

YouView

YouView, which grew out of Project Canvas, has taken far too long to come together. With Alan Sugar added to the process the set-top box technology finally began being tested in the wild last month, but it’s still not going to be commercially available in time for the Olympic Games.

This wouldn’t ordinarily be an issue, but when we’re in the midst of huge companies testing the streaming waters a delay of any length could prove fatal.

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Posted in: BBC, Broadband Video Companies, News, TV Gadgets & Equipment, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on May 31, 2012

YouView-LogoYouView is almost ready to be launched onto the public, a public that is unlikely to have even ever heard of YouView. Even if they have they may no longer want or need it. Still, public trials, no matter how small they are, is a good starting point.

Canvas Becomes YouView

Project Kangaroo became Project Canvas became YouView. In the meantime, while the BBC and others were spending too long working out every little detail of a joint streaming venture, smart TVs became common, set-top boxes grew in number and popularity, and games consoles began offering streaming services.

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Apple TV SetIf you believe the old adage that there is no smoke without first then the it’s a case of when rather than if Apple is going to release a television set. New rumors have emerged recently that suggest the product is certainly in the pipeline.

Previous iTV Rumors

It’s been a few years since rumors of an Apple television set began cropping up. The thinking was that Apple would try and do for the television market what it has done for the mobile and computing markets. It would certainly be an obvious next step for the company to take.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson just before his death last year that he had “finally cracked it,” the “it” being the television set and how Apple could disrupt the market. Which suggests something new, innovative, and enough to warrant a high price.

Rumors at the end of last year suggested that Apple was preparing to launch the Apple television set, possibly named iTV, at the end of 2012. That now seems unlikely, but you would have to be very cynical to believe the product doesn’t exist, even if it’s just in prototype form for the time being.

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New-Apple-TVIt looks exactly the same, it does pretty much the same things as it did before, and even under the hood little has changed. But we should still be getting excited about the new Apple TV.

Apple TV

Apple TV is a set-top box which enables anyone to stream video content to their television set. The product has been with us for some time, but in 2010 Apple rebooted it into the small, elegant black box pictured above.

In the two years since then Apple TV has enjoyed strong-yet-unspectacular sales. And it’s still regarded as nothing more than “a hobby,” as described by Steve Jobs several years ago.

However, a new version of Apple TV was unveiled today alongside the new iPad 3. And it’s…

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