Did you plunk down $39 for Amazon’s Fire TV Stick as soon as you heard about its promise of low-cost, full-featured streaming? If so, we have good news: as promised, Amazon has started shipping its Chromecast rival to people who ordered early. Unfortunately, those are the only people who can expect to get a Fire TV Stick in the near future… or any time this year, for that matter. Amazon is telling new customers that their orders won’t ship until at least January 15th, 2015, or well after everyone has unwrapped their holiday presents. Unless your gift recipients are cool with IOUs, you’ll have to snag a Chromecast, a Roku Streaming Stick or another “close enough” alternative.
Have you been eager to customize your Xbox One profile, or share your gaming escapades on Twitter? Now’s your chance. Microsoft has started rolling out its promised November update for its latest console, and it includes a ton of updates that let you both personalize your system and keep tabs on tweets. You can now customize your background with colors or achievement images, and post a bio that includes your location. If you’re a social sort, you can also tweet your favorite game videos and follow the Twitter buzz surrounding live TV shows. You can finally snap Internet Explorer to a smaller view, too. Fire up your system if you’ve been waiting weeks for any of these perks.
Source: Major Nelson
EE is ready to take on the living room. The UK’s largest mobile network is now offering its first TV set-top box, EE TV, for free to existing mobile customers with an EE Broadband plan. The black box is currently only available in EE stores and supports over 70 Freeview channels, as well as video streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, YouTube and Wuaki.tv. Up to four different devices (including your TV) can use the service simultaneously, letting other family members with a smartphone or tablet watch whatever they like in another room.
The EE TV set-top box is equipped with a 1TB hard drive and capable of recording up to 600 hours in standard definition. Four channels can be recorded simultaneously, although a neat ‘Replay’ feature means you can store everything from six channels over a 24-hour block. You will, however, need to sign-up for EE Broadband at £9.95 per month (plus £15.75 for line rental) to get your hands on the new set-top box. In short, EE wants you to subscribe to both its mobile and broadband packages, and is happy to give away EE TV to boost sign-ups. To sweeten the deal, the company will raise your EE mobile 4G data allowance to 10GB or 20GB (depending on your current contract) if you take up their offer. Not quite sold on the idea? Let us help. We’ll be putting EE TV through its paces in our upcoming review.
There is a lot riding on Android TV considering how Google TV flopped and drifted away. To ensure its success, Google wants to make it as simple as possible for developers to take their apps and games and bring them over to Android TV. Its Nexus Player is on the market, so consumers are going to expect content for consumption.
These are the steps necessary to distribute your app or game with Android TV:
- Understand guidelines and requirements
- Develop a great app for TV
- Test for TV App Quality
- Opt-in to Android TV and publish
- Track your review and approval
As always, Google wants developers to follow the recommended guidelines because everything should be familiar for an Android TV user. Tailoring an app or game for a television is vital because that is the platform’s go-to display. Scaling has to be just right. Then, the developer must aligns what it is publishing with Google’s TV App Quality test. From there, the developer has to submit the app or game and wait to see if Google approves upon review.
Source: Android Developers
Come comment on this article: Bringing an app to Android TV is pretty simple, Google shows how
If you’re like me, you regularly enjoy catching up on favorites from Comedy Central via Hulu. But what about the older stuff? Well, after extending its partnership with Viacom, the streaming service is adding a lot more content for your viewing pleasure. Shows from Nickelodeon will be available for the first time — including popular items like Hey Arnold! and The Ren & Stimpy Show. The library of previous seasons will benefit as well, with a backlog of Key & Peele, Tosh.0, Mob Wives and more being added “over the next few weeks.” Of course, current episodes will continue to be a few clicks away, keeping you up to date on The Daily Show and others.
It won’t be long before you won’t need to auction a lung off in order to buy a 4K OLED TV, which means there’s even less reason to buy a plasma than ever before. That’s why LG has finally joined Samsung and Panasonic in taking the outdated business out back, shotgun in hand. According to Reuters, the company has quietly told local regulators that the plasma TV lines will cease production towards the end of November, leaving China’s Changhong Electric Co. as the last manufacturer in town. Still, we’d certainly expect the price of plasmas to slip downward as the technology heads towards the exit door, so perhaps this holiday season is the ideal time to pick up a bargain.
Roku frequently comes across as the little media player company that could: its streaming box business is growing in spite of much larger competition. As healthy as it is, though, this upstart now appears eager to join the big leagues. Tipsters for both the Wall Street Journal and New York Times claim that Roku is planning to file an initial public stock offering (IPO) that could net as much as $150 million, roughly doubling what it raised through private investments. The details of just how and when this would happen are still murky, but the company said earlier this month that it’s near turning a profit. It may wait until it’s in the black and can put its best foot forward. If the IPO does happen, though, you should expect Roku to grow quickly. It’s already striking deals with TV makers and has the support of major broadcasters — the extra cash could both put more big-name services on your existing Roku box and improve the range of devices you can buy at the store.
Yes, it’s true: Our own Sean Buckley rode a real-life hoverboard. But that’s not all we have for you on this fine day — read on for the rest of our news highlights from the last 24 hours, including the Avi-on Bluetooth light switch, an app that solves math problems, and more.
Microsoft only just unleashed its October update for the Xbox One, and now it’s talking about what to expect next month. The update will hit consoles for those in the preview test group soon, and adds many features Major Nelson and crew say the community has been asking for, including custom backgrounds (with the PS4 getting themes soon, it’s Blu-ray 3D all over again), and extra details for profiles. The custom backgrounds will launch with a selection of pictures and the ability to post based on achievements, and after a media player update later in the month, gamers will be able to import any image they want. A returning feature from the Xbox 360 will put details like your location and custom bio back on the profile page, plus a self-curated selection of game clips and achievements. Oh, and those game clips? You’ll be able to share them with the masses easily, because the update adds the ability to share any of your favorites directly to Twitter. Check after the break for a video demo and more details on what’s coming.
The Twitter integration won’t stop there either, as the OneGuide adds trending lists for what users are watching on live TV, what people are tweeting about, or what Xbox One owners specifically are watching the most. There is even space to see what people are tweeting about a show in the MiniGuide itself. The integrated Internet Explorer browser can switch from full screen to Snap with a button on the address bar now, and a number icon to let users know when “Featured Sites” have updates. The second screen SmartGlass app has more support to see what’s going on in the Store and what your friends are playing, while the Preview dashboard app for testers has some new gamified features.
Here’s what to expect in Xbox One’s November system update (Spoiler: Customizable Backgrounds) http://t.co/ryXfkGrJWp
– Larry Hryb (@majornelson) October 21, 2014
More fan-requested features coming to Xbox One in November: http://t.co/roFbnnJf8m
– Jeff Rubenstein (@jeffrubenstein) October 21, 2014
Source: Xbox Wire
The next app to get the material design treatment is Google Play Movies & TV, bringing the version to 3.4.23.
You’ll notice, like many other apps, that the updated Google Play Movies & TV has a new icon, as well as a new splash screen that appears when content is being sent to a Chromecast.
For some reason, the slide-out hamburger menu hasn’t been updated in-line with the same look we’ve been seeing across the other material design apps, since it seems to cover the top part of the title car, using a larger part of the screen. Perhaps this could be to do with using the app on Android TV and the necessary scaling.
Can’t wait to get Google Play Movies & TV version 3.4.23? Download the APK here.
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