Lenovo has been unveiling its latest creations at its Tech World 23015 conference, and here we have the Lenovo Cast streaming device that fills a similar role to Google’s Chromecast device. Instead of looking like a weirdly shaped USB stick though, the Lenovo Cast looks rather like a hockey puck, black and round.
Whereas the Chromecast uses Google’s proprietary casting technology, the Lenovo Cast uses Miracast and DLNA standards that are present in almost Android smartphone or tablet. The Lenovo Cast will mirror your phone or tablets display, much like you can with the Chromecast, the downside of which is that when your display times out, the content being cast to the TV will also vanish.
The Lenovo Cast can cast Full HD movies, images and games from up to 20m away, with the ability to get its signal through two walls. Unlike the Chromecast, the Lenovo Cast offers dual-band WiFi (2.4GHz & 5GHz) compatibility. The device connects to the TV or monitor via HDMI cable, and if you were worried about having to find room in your TV cabinet for the Lenovo Cast, fear not. A bracket is included in the box that allows you to mount the device on the back of your TV.
At $49, Lenovo Cast is a little more expensive than the Chromecast, although it does offer slightly higher specifications than Google’s device. For me, the Chromecast still edges it by giving the user the option to stream content without needing to keep the phone or tablet display on. There’s also a good chance we will see the second generation Chromecast being announced at Google I/O 2015 later on today. Still, you can never have too many options, am I right? Remember to check out our complete Google I/O 2015 coverage by clicking here.
We have the full specifications of the Lenovo Cast below.
Come comment on this article: Lenovo announces the $49 Lenovo Cast streaming device
Canadian cable firms Rogers and Shaw have hogged the Shomi video service all to themselves during its testing phase, but they’re loosening up now that they’re nearly ready for prime time. The two have revealed that their answer to Netflix will be available to all Canadians this summer, not just the companies’ internet and TV subscribers. As during the beta, you’ll plunk down $9 CAD ($7 US) per month to get a mix of shows and (mostly older) movies, including Transparent and other series that are Amazon exclusives in the US. The service already works through Android, Apple TV, Chromecast and iOS devices, so you won’t be hurting for places to watch.
The expansion isn’t just about giving domestic cablecos a shot at money that would otherwise go to Netflix and other American providers. It’s partly a foil to CraveTV, a service meant only for Bell customers. Also, Rogers and Shaw are under pressure from Canada’s telecom regulator, the CRTC, to open up. The agency has ruled that any video-on-demand exclusives must be available to every Canuck online — if companies want sole access to a hot series, they can’t force you to sign up for other services in order to start streaming. This probably won’t get you to drop your existing US subscriptions, but you at least won’t have to jump through hoops to check out options from the Great White North.
Via: Huffington Post
Source: Canada Newswire
You’re forgiven if you forgot that TiVo and Cox were once best buddies. They formed a partnership years ago, but that alliance quietly fell by the wayside. However, there are signs that it could come roaring back. Tipsters tell Zatz Not Funny (which has a good record with such leaks) that TiVo is close to launching Cox On Demand services. It’s not clear whether this will simply rehash the DVR maker’s Comcast technology or try something new. If the rumor is true, though, this could be heartening news — you could spring for one of TiVo’s nicer video recorders without having to sacrifice all the on-demand content that comes with your Cox TV package.
Source: Zatz Not Funny
Charter’s interest in buying Time Warner Cable appears to be more than just a passing fancy. Bloomberg sources claim that the cable company is on the cusp of reaching a deal to buy TWC for $195 per share. The finer details of the buyout aren’t available, but Charter would fold both its new acquisition and Bright House into a single mega-entity. Reportedly, Charter could announce the purchase as early as Tuesday — if so, it’s not wasting much time following Comcast’s failed TWC deal.
Neither side is commenting on the rumor. However, a hasty buyout suggests that Charter is determined to challenge the biggest US telecom giants. The real question is whether or not regulators will be any more favorable to this attempt at snapping up TWC. Charter isn’t as big as Comcast, but an acquisition would still reduce the number of big competitors and give the remaining rivals more sway when negotiating TV and internet deals.
Earlier this week, folks in the know claimed that Apple’s HDTV project had been junked after more than a decade of development. Now, however, Re/code is reporting that the company is still working on an online TV service for its devices, but wants to beat its rivals by being the first to offer live video from local broadcasters. Naturally, a push for regional content means having to deal with the hundreds of affiliates that operate across the country. So, instead of just shaking hands on a contract with ABC, Apple’s got to get lawyers out to every station from Arizona’s KNXV-TV to Wyoming’s WAOW.
As the report points out, it’s a feat that not even ABC has been able to achieve, since it only shows live local streaming video in selected cities. That increase in contractual complexity is also matched on the technical, since Apple is going to have to build some hefty infrastructure to support all of this live video. Naturally, this means that any announcement won’t take place this year, forcing the company to push back this entirely theoretical start date until 2016.
The Home Secretary Theresa May wants to give Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, the ability to block shows with extremist content before they’re shown on TV. The Queen’s Speech will detail some of the Conservative government’s legislative plans next week, and it’s already been confirmed that Ofcom will be given “a strengthened role” to tackle broadcasters perceived to be showing extremist content. The new powers will be part of a new Counter-Extremism Bill which includes immigration restrictions for extremists and the power to close premises where extremists are thought to be influencing others.
Yet even within the Conservative party, some of the plans are being met with fierce opposition. A letter obtained by the Guardian shows that Business Secretary Sajid Javid has been urging the Prime Minister David Cameron to reconsider May’s proposals. Sent on March 12, when Javid was still Culture Secretary, he writes: “Ofcom does not have the powers to approve programmes before they are broadcast and nor do we consider that it should have these powers as has been proposed.” Javid later argues that the proposals would threaten freedom of expression and could be used “otherwise than intended.”
The letter was written weeks ago, so it’s not clear how the Prime Minister reacted and whether the plans are still part of the bill expected to feature next week. Should these specific powers be included, it’s possible they’ll pave the way for other counter-extremism measures such as the Snooper’s Charter, which the Liberal Democrats blocked when they were part of the coalition. May has hinted that the bill could be revived now that the Conservatives have been re-elected, forcing mobile networks and internet service providers to store online activity, including emails and website visits, for up to 12 months. Police and intelligence agencies could then request access to this information.
The Snooper’s Charter has always been controversial, but this letter proves that even within Cameron’s new cabinet, there is concern and ongoing debate about the extent of such measures and whether they threaten some of the UK’s greatest civil liberties.
[Image Credit: John Snelling/Getty Images]
Filed under: Home Entertainment
Source: The Guardian
When the little ones are having a temper tantrum, kids TV is often your best line of defence. In the UK, that used to mean switching on CBBC or CITV, but in the internet age Netflix and YouTube rule supreme. After all, it means you can find the exact show or movie that’s likely to put a smile back on the little tikes’ faces. That could spell trouble for Sky, so the broadcaster is revamping its child-centric on-demand offerings. A software update rolling out to all Sky+HD boxes this week will put a new “Kids” tile on the homepage, providing instant access to on-demand shows and movies, kids TV recordings and live channels such as Cbeebies and Nick Jr. In addition, Sky is expanding its library of on-demand episodes from 700 to 4,000 over the coming months. It’ll include new morsels of SpongeBob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer and Ben 10, as well as cult favourite Adventure Time. YouTube appeals because it’s (mostly) free, but if you’ve been stressed out before trying to find a decent clip online, you might want to try grabbing your Sky remote next time.
Filed under: Home Entertainment
In Japan, Toyota has a history of tapping classic Japanese role-playing games to sell its latest vehicles. The company has previously used the music from Dragon Quest and Monster Hunter in its TV ads, and now it’s leveraging Final Fantasy to promote the petite Aqua Urban-X (known as the Prius C in the US). As Kotaku reports, the unique commercial shows three yellow cars tearing around the countryside, while the Chocobo Theme plays jubilantly in the background. For fans of the franchise, it’s a clever nod to the beloved flightless bird, which often feature in the games as mythical modes of transport. But how many Final Fantasy fans are in the market to buy a new car? Probably not many — Toyota is presumably banking on the idea that such an iconic Japanese franchise will be recognisable to even the most casual of video game enthusiasts. It’s certainly more effective than this terrifying Mercedes-Benz ad featuring Nintendo’s popular plumber.
Forget buying a clunky wall mount for your TV… what if you could stick it up like a fridge magnet? LG Display is hoping you’ll do just that. The company has unveiled a 55-inch OLED screen that’s so thin and light (0.04 inches and 4.2 pounds) that you can put it on your wall using a magnetic mat. The design doesn’t exactly leave room for much else — you’d probably need a breakout box for TV functions — but it raises the possibility of big-screen sets that easily blend into your living room’s decor. Unfortunately, LG isn’t saying if or when this panel will translate into a real product. You’ll most likely have to settle for the company’s more conventional OLED TVs in the short term, including a giant 99-incher due this year.
Source: Yonhap News Agency
You can already record some decent footage with a drone if you’re so inclined, but “decent” isn’t good enough for director James Cameron. He’s lending support to C-Prize, a New Zealand competition meant to improve drone technology for the movie and TV producers. The challenge will reward those who develop tech that makes drones quieter, more stable and better at tracking moving subjects — all important when you’re shooting your magnum opus with a robotic camera. You’ll have to pitch your idea by July 5th, but the mad scramble could be worth it if it earns the gratitude of Cameron and other filmmakers hoping to spice up their aerial shots.
[Image credit: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images]