There’s a battle going on for control of your home. It’s not just for control of smart devices like the Google Home or Amazon Echo. It’s for everything in your home that’s related to technology.
Arguably the most important battle is over your Wi-Fi network. While wireless routers have stayed relatively unchanged for the past decade, we are quickly seeing rapid development in mesh network technology. Google even entered the mix this year but still has people waiting on its waitlist for the next generation networking hardware.
It makes a whole lot of sense to fight for our networks. We rely more now on our Wi-Fi than ever. We watch videos on Netflix, Youtube, Hulu. We stream endless hours of music to our computers, tablets, smartphones and wireless speakers. Smart home products like the Nest, Google Home, Amazon Echo, and security cameras all rely on a powerful Wi-Fi signal.
When using the internet at home, there’s nothing worse than a dead spot, or laggy speeds when you move further away from your router.
Wi-Fi problems are more noticeable now because of our heavy dependance on the internet. Decade old technology just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Walls, electrical signals, competing networks, microwaves, and a wide variety of things can slow your internet down. Consumers have attempted to solve their networking problems with extenders or repeaters, but most have found those to be nothing short of inadequate.
That’s where AmpliFi aims to solve your Wi-Fi problems.
How does AmpliFi work?
AmpliFi uses enterprise networking technology for the home. It uses multiple radios and access points to amplify your wireless signal.
Basically plug in the AmpliFi wireless router into your existing modem, and then connect mesh points around your home to create a network as large as you like.
You no longer need to be an IT expert in home networking with next generation Wi-Fi technology. AmpliFi has an app in the Apple App Store for iOS devices and an Android app in the Google Play Store.
It walks you through the entire setup. Novices can set up this network in no more than five minutes. That’s if they’re slow. I’m a novice and it literally took me three minutes.
Once the main router is setup, you simply plug in the two piece boosters into any standard wall outlets. Depending on how many you purchase will determine the size of your mesh network. The three piece system I have is designed to work on home up to 20000 square feet. My home isn’t that big even in my dreams!
What’s nice about the boosters are the two-piece magnetic construction. You can point them in any direction based on your plug.
It creates on heck of a reliable and fast network
I used the AmpliFI HD (high-density) system for over a month and absolutely loved it. Admittedly it was a bit of overkill for my 1500 square foot town home, but every single room had 100mbps download which is what I would get if I sat within 10 feet of the original modem. My place has cement walls which really make my wireless a challenge to use in places like my bedroom which is the furthest room from the base station.
I would frequently get Netflix buffering or skipping and dropping on my Wi-Fi speakers in my office and bedroom in the past. The AmpliFi HD home system fixed all of those problems.
I also take my dog outside several times a day and can walk up to 50 yards away while still maintaing a usable Wi-Fi signal. Normally without the AmpliFi HD, I could walk maybe one tenth of that distance and lose signal.
It’s ridiculously easy to use
The days of needing to know your IP address or crazy password provided by your internet company are over with next generation systems. Through the app is where you set up your password, monitor the mesh points, and even control the devices that are connected. You can pause the internet on your entire home. It shows every single device connected to your network so you can keep track of your internet security. The last thing you want is a rogue device that is attempting to break into your personal files.
You can create a separate network for guests too. That way you can limit what they have access to in your home. Turning the guest network on and off literally takes seconds. You also have the ability to set the guest network to shut off after a predetermined time.
I have an embarrassing amount of devices connected to my network at peak times. I have an Android TV, several laptops, five Wi-Fi high-definition speakers, three Google Homes, three Amazon Dots and one Echo, too many smartphones to count, and several tablets. With AmpliFi I never once experienced slow internet except for the time that Time Warner went down.
I opened the AmpliFi app and it showed I had no internet connection. To verify there wasn’t a problem with my home network, I called Time Warner and they confirmed that a switch went down a block away from me.
Once it was back on, my network came right back on.
The AmpliFi next generation Wi-Fi solution also updates itself with new firmware and software. It’s a great solution for those who are looking to get the most out of their internet.
It’s a great investment
The AmpliFi HD system I tested is designed for homes over 20000 square feet. You certainly don’t need that much horsepower if you live in a home as small as mine. If you ever plan on moving or expanding your home, you can rest easy knowing that the AmpliFi starter system can be expanded at anytime and it is listed at $149.99. All you need to purchase is an additional router to expand your mesh network.
The wireless router even has a gorgeous look to it that will fit anywhere in your home. It has a touch screen that offers real-time status, and even offers a clock.
The HD system isn’t cheap at $349.99 but it is an investment in your home, but it’s one of the best you can make. Wireless internet is almost as essential as electricity these days.
You can order the AmpliFi HD at Amazon for $349.99 or at http://www.amplifi.com.
- Wi-Fi Mesh Technology for Complete Home Coverage
- Plug and Play High-Density Mesh Points to Eliminate Dead Spots
- Dual-Band 802.11ac Wi-Fi System Delivers Up to 5.25 Gbps Aggregate Speed
- Convenient Smart-Touch Display for Real-Time Status
- Easy Setup and Powerful Wi-Fi Management using the AmpliFi App
- Secure WPA2-PSK AES/TKIP Wi-Fi Encryption; (5) Gigabit Ethernet Ports (1 WAN and 4 LAN)
- System Includes: AmpliFi Router HD, (2) AmpliFi Mesh Points HD, Ethernet Cable, Power Adapter, Quick Start Guide
It’s amusing to know that, even with the rise of e-books, tablets, and Amazon’s Kindle services and devices, recent studies show that Americans are reading less than in previous years. The media probably blames millennials, as they always do, but what are you going to do? I figure people can’t stop scrolling through their Facebook timelines in search of memes.
Books are easier to get and read than ever, thanks to improved channels of distribution and the ubiquity of connected devices. For those who want to read but are on a budget, there are several free alternatives in the Play Store ready for your reading pleasure. One of these options is Oodles, which offers quality e-books and audiobooks for the always-welcome price of zero. Nada!
The main screen gives you quick access to the available e-books and audiobooks, while also allowing you to access your library.
When you first open the app, it asks you to create an account. Fortunately, for those of us who don’t like to create accounts, especially when the only account creation methods are Google and Facebook, there’s a “Sign-in later” option. It makes you wonder why the app asks you to create an account so early in the first place, especially if it isn’t required at all for the app to work properly. After this, you’re ready to use the app.
The main screen of Oodles shows two carousel-style sections: one for free e-books and another one for free audiobooks. Clicking on either will yield a grid (or list, it depends on the screen) with the available options. You’ll also have the option to swipe between different views, such as Categories, Top Books, and Top Authors. Think of the way the Play Store is organized and you’ll get an idea of what you will find here. Everything looks neat and works quickly enough.
When you choose a specific book, you’ll be directed to the book’s detail page. This will show the cover at the top, along with detailed information about the book and the option to download it. There’s also suggestions at the bottom, based on the book you chose. Since the available books here are probably not well-known, this is a crucial option and it’s nice that the developer decided to add it.
You can also browse your library of e-books and audiobooks, all neatly organized and with a percentage bar that shows you your current progress on that specific book. You can also import books you already own but are stored in your SD card or internal memory.
There’s a lot to say about this part of the app, so much that it merits a section of its own. When you finally download your books and are ready to consume them, you are treated with the reading screen.
I have mixed feelings regarding this specific activity, since some things work so well but, on the other hand, it looks outdated and out of place in a world where Android apps have gotten much more beautiful than they were just a couple of years ago.
Gingerbread called. It wanted its interface back.
The screen has a top and a bottom bar, each one with different controls and options. The problem is that these icons look like they were brought in a time machine right from the days of Gingerbread.
Some buttons even have a gradient color, something that is frowned upon in today’s design. Actually making things worse is the fact that not all of them are gradients. There’s no consistency between design languages here.
Anyways, regarding the functionality of the buttons themselves, they all work more or less like you would expect. At the top, you’ll find a list button which will let you browse the chapters of your book and jump to any of them directly. There’s also a button to save bookmarks (actual bookmarks, you know, not the browser-related ones).
Next to it you’ll find a search function that works rather well. There’s also an overflow menu for getting to the app’s settings (I will come back to this later), book information, and increase/decrease font size (even though there’s a dedicated button for that at the bottom).
At the bottom you’ll find more useful stuff, such as brightness control, toggle between day and night modes (awesome), rotation lock, and the aforementioned font size changer. There’s also a slider to move between pages, and a button to return to the page you were reading before acting on this slider.
The book part is invisibly divided in three columns. Hitting the center part will toggle the top and bottom bars, leaving more screen state for reading your book. Touching the right side will take you to the next page, while the left region will take you to the previous page. Swiping will also move you through the pages. These gestures and tap recognitions work swiftly enough, although swiping too fast generates a wonky animation.
Specific book information is available in one click. There’s also the option of browsing similar books.
Just as a Lannister always pays his debts, I am fulfilling my promise of coming back to the settings section. The options available here are actually richer than the options for the app itself. There’s options for changing appearance, margins, page turning, dictionary, colors, text, etc. Possibly every aspect that can be configured has some kind of entry. That’s really cool, but what’s with the design? If the icons weren’t Gingerbread enough, this settings app looks completely out of date.
The whole reading screen looks (and probably is) a library written by other developer and integrated to this app. There’s nothing wrong with that, but at least some additional work could have been made in order to avoid such an inconsistent experience.
You can download your audiobooks in different parts (as opposed to a single big file) to make it lighter for your internet connection. The player for audiobooks works exactly as expected, with the book cover front and center, and then your regular buttons to play, pause, rewind, and similar events that you expect. There’s very little to say about it other than it works and audio quality is decent enough for an audiobook.
Being a free app by an independent developer, ads are expected. These come in two different flavors: a banner at the bottom of the screen, and a full-screen ad when you leave the reader screen.
I never hide my hate for full-screen ads, and I won’t start today. It’s really unfortunate that user experience has to be interrupted in such an abrupt manner in order to get the revenue to pay the bills. That’s the way the current market is, however, and there’s nothing in the near future that will change this. At least I haven’t seen a full-screen video ad yet.
Here’s the option screen, where you can configure the two of them.
Touching the gear button at the top of the main screen will take you to the app’s settings screen. Even though it seems full, it’s probably the settings screen with the least amount of options I’ve ever seen.
You can change your language, although it’s limited to English and another language that I can’t understand (sorry for the ignorance).
A kind of cool feature comes in the form of reminders. You can ask the app to remind you at a specific time that you need to stop being lazy and read those books you downloaded. These can be configured for any time of the day, any day of the week.
There’s also the option to remove ads (thankfully) and share the app with your friends. Other than that, there’s no noteworthy aspects to analyze further.
Oodles does a good job in categorizing and providing a nice one-stop place to download e-books and audiobooks. The problems start to show up when you’re reading the books themselves, with a really outdated library to handle the situation.
If you can ignore the fact that the reading interface looks like the apps you used on your Samsung Galaxy S2 back in 2011, then you can use Oodles to satisfy your reading needs.
Download Oodles from the Google Play Store.
You can now get your Samsung Galaxy S7 edge in Blue Coral from Verizon.
Fans of Samsung’s ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 who especially loved the glorious Blue Coral color option can now get the next best Samsung device — the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge — in that stunning shade of blue from Verizon. Verizon is also currently offering a buy one, get one half off deal for those looking to win the holiday season with an amazing gift for an loved one.
This comes on the heels of AT&T, which is also offering the S7 edge in that gorgeous blue, with their website stating phones will start shipping out Nov. 18. Both Verizon and AT&T are offering the new color option at no additional charge. T-Mobile is also expected to carry the Blue Coral S7 edge, but have yet to make an official announcement.
Samsung first announced the new color option back on Nov. 1, and began sales of the new snazzy S7 edge variation in their home South Korea a week ago. It’s pretty clear that this is an attempt by Samsung to offer the Note 7’s best and most notable color option. We’re not complaining, because that Blue Coral look is so slick.
Are you planning on grabbing one? Let us know in the comments!
Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge
- Galaxy S7 review
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- U.S. unlocked Galaxy S7
- Should you upgrade to the Galaxy S7?
- Best SD cards for Galaxy S7
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Whether you’re ready to upgrade to a bigger and better VR headset, want to downsize for awhile until new technology comes out, or think VR just isn’t quite right for you, here is how to sell your VR headset!
Read more at VRHeads!
You can already find PlayStation Vue, Sony’s proprietary streaming service, on most every device in your living room. It’s native on the Playstation 3 and 4, available on Android TV, Roku boxes, Fire TV and Stick, not to mention compatible smart TVs. You can also find it on Android and iOS devices as a mobile app, which can be streamed to Chromecasts. Today, that ecosystem grew a bit more with the announcement that Vue is now available on Apple TV as well.
Vue’s UI and features like cloud DVR won’t change from what you’re used to but it will take advantage of Apple TV’s hardware including the Siri Remote and touch navigation. You’ll be able to stream live television and sports plus gain access to premium channels like HBO and CInemax, if you don’t already — you simply need to link your Vue and Apple TV accounts. Vue offers a bunch of different channel packages and a la carte options so head over to the Vue website for more details.
Source: Sony (PlayStation blog)
It’s no secret that Airbnb has ambitions beyond renting out spare rooms. Not least because local authorities keep throwing water on its core business model. The company has already made some acquisitions in the “experience” space, and run trials offering local guides and excursions to match your local accommodation. Today CEO Brian Chesky finally gave us a concrete idea of exactly what Airbnb’s holistic future, and on-demand travel in general, will look like.
Chesky took to the stage today at the company’s “Open” event in LA to talk through the new comprehensive travel venture, and it’s effectively an extension of the Airbnb rental service that aims to give you the local experience (and maybe save a buck or two on the way).
The new experience category will include single short events, and longer multi-day “Immersions.” Each trip is searchable by city and “passion” (theme). Every one will also include a short movie-style trailer, so you can see what you’re signing up for. Chesky says that at least 50 percent of these multi day experiences will cost less than $200. The example excursions shown included everything from star photography to Korean embroidery. Single day experiences will be similarly diverse, and can include everything from “magic to acrobatics” claims Chesky.
Another addition to the new Airbnb is “places” which includes everything from audio guides created by locals, and “near me now” guides. Not only can you find a local restaurant, you’ll be able to book it directly from the app. The experience fuses Trip-advisor’s guide elements and Google’s advice on when the spot is most busy. Chesky also hinted that Airbnb’s future will include flight booking and “services,” but didn’t spare any more details on stage.
The new sections are available on Airbnb now, but only 12 cities will have the experiences at launch. Those cities are: Detroit, London, Paris, Nairobi, La Habana, San Francisco, Cape Town, Firenze, Miami, Seoul, Tokyo, Los Angeles. Chesky says over 50 cities available next year, with the goal to have global coverage eventually.
The Daily Stormer, an alt-right website that regularly features racist, sexist and anti-semitic content, claims it has nearly 1,000 “fake black person” Twitter accounts that it plans to use in a “big,” upcoming harassment campaign. This is a response to Twitter’s recent ban of multiple accounts that distributed white supremacist content and ideas — many of these banned users are prominent names in racist circles online.
The bans are a result of Twitter’s attempt to clean up its image with a new set of rules for reporting abuse. The company rolled out these safeguards on Tuesday.
At the end of a blog post published on Wednesday, The Daily Stormer says, “the meme wars have only just begun,” before outlining the next steps in a coordinated harassment campaign that targets people in the real world, rather than online. The call to action begins as follows:
“We will introduce new ways of trolling, including IRL trolling, snailmail trolling, telephone trolling, hoaxes, shoe company endorsements, etc. And look. We’re not done with Twitter. We’ve got a big campaign coming up.”
The site then asks its readers — who are ostensibly white men — to “create a fake black person account.” It claims to already have nearly 1,000 of these accounts with established post histories, and its instructions for creating a believably “black” profile are littered with stereotypes and racist speech.
“Just go on black Twitter and see what they look like, copy that model,” the post reads. “Start filling it with rap videos and booty-shaking or whatever else these blacks post. Read through their posts to get an idea of how they post. You need to be able to post in a manner which is indistinguishable from normal black tweeters. …Twitter is about to learn what happens when you mess with Republicans.”
Twitter’s hateful conduct policy prohibits harassment of people based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or disease. However, its latest code of conduct doesn’t address how the site plans to handle fake accounts, though it has regulations in place for parody and impersonation. How to address an influx of fake Twitter accounts established for the purpose of organized, race-based harassment isn’t necessarily covered in the site’s existing rulebook.
A recent NYU research paper outlined how Twitter users could help curb abuse on the platform by reminding racist and sexist tweeters that their speech affected real people. However, this message worked best when it came from a user that appeared to be white and popular.
Via: The Daily Dot
Source: The Daily Stormer
A few weeks after Microsoft unveiled the Surface Studio to the public at a media event in New York City, a few websites have begun publishing the first reviews for Microsoft’s new desktop PC/tablet hybrid. During its announcement in October, the Surface Studio was revealed to have a 12.5mm thin touch screen, with a 28-inch PixelSense Display that packs in 13.5 million pixels. Microsoft said that there’s “no monitor like this on the planet.”
The first reviews of the Surface Studio are largely positive, with many reviewers enamored with the computer’s large screen and slick design, as well as its purpose to fulfill and enhance productivity for creatives. However, in line with the unrest over the price of the new MacBook Pros, most of the people who have been reviewing the Surface Studio for the past week admit the $3,000 price tag is one that prohibits casual users and sets an entry bar for serious power users only.
Images via Engadget
The Verge began by looking at the 28-inch display, which was described as “truly one of the best desktop monitors I’ve ever used.” Everything from plain text to videos were said to look great on the screen, and even the 3:2 aspect ratio for the desktop monitor produced better environments for reading and writing, according to the site.
The Verge also had a freelance illustrator test out the Surface Studio, and they came away largely impressed, but hoped future iterations introduced a rotating display, more ergonomic stylus, and new input options for the Surface Dial accessory. Although a slight mention, one of the site’s minor annoyances was the way the Surface Dial slipped down the screen slowly when not being cradled by the user’s hand, even at the computer’s lowest 20-degree angle.
The Verge concluded its review comparing the Surface Studio to the current lineup and ecosystem of Apple products. The site said that while Microsoft’s device won’t be invading the homes of die-hard Apple fans just yet, the fact that the Surface Studio even hints at that possibility “is remarkable.” For that reason, the site admitted purchasing a $3,000 computer just for fun doodling tools in your spare time is illogical, but those Apple fans who could gain the most out of Microsoft’s hardware “might well be tempted to switch camps.”
Many creatives I’ve spoken to about the Surface Studio have said the same thing: why isn’t Apple doing this? Apple seems to be forcing creatives to choose an iPad Pro for touch and pen, but the powerful and professional apps just aren’t there yet on iOS, and it’s not clear if companies like Adobe are willing to rewrite their software to be just as useful on an iPad Pro. Microsoft has realized the potential in the market to reach out to creatives who feel abandoned by Apple, and it’s an influential crowd that could be swayed over by devices like the Surface Studio.
The fact that Microsoft is even being considered an alternative to Apple’s line of machines for creatives is not something anyone, not even Microsoft, was expecting for the Surface devices. The Surface Studio won’t take over Mac-focused design houses just yet, but that it’s even a possibility is remarkable. The Studio is special because it knows exactly what it is and who it’s for — and it’s largely spot on. If Microsoft keeps developing its strengths here, some of Apple’s most loyal customers might well be tempted to switch camps.
Engadget called the Surface Studio “the most interesting computer released this year,” thanks in part to the fact that its zero gravity hinge gimmick “is actually useful.” The site tested the top-of-the-line $4,200 tier, which includes a 2.7GHz Core i7 6820HQ CPU, 32GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD and 2TB HDD, and a NVIDIA GTX 980M graphics with 4GB of VRAM, and admitted “it was one of the most powerful PCs I’ve ever tested.”
The Surface Studio is also a good-enough gaming alternative, although it isn’t entirely up to the task of most high-end gaming PCs, with Engadget noting that the computer scored 20 percent lower than the Radeon RX 480 GPU, as an anecdotal comparison. The computer still managed to run a few games at playable speeds, including Overwatch (60 frames per second in 1080p with high settings) and Gears of War 4 (50 frames per second with medium settings).
The Surface Studio is both familiar and new. It empowers us to work the way we always have, while also giving us entirely new modes of productivity. Personally, that’s a philosophy I can get behind — especially when compared with Apple’s habit of pushing consumers down new roads that aren’t necessarily improvements (hello, dongle life). But the Surface Studio’s high price and lack of expandability could make it a tough sell for an already niche market, especially for people already devoted to their Wacom tablets.
CNET also asked some creative professionals to try out the Surface Studio and got their opinions on the machine. Creative director Nick Cogan, who’s helped to illustrate and design films like Ice Age and Rio, said that the Surface Studio was a “great” drawing tool that could stimulate workflow and ultimately be a nice main device for professional work after the initial learning curve. But, like CNET described in its review, Cogan wasn’t sure if the hardware of the Surface Studio was enough of an excuse to get over the Windows-based software.
The bigger challenge may be getting creative professionals to invest in such a high-end, high-price piece of gear, as many of them are creatures of habit, tied to familiar tools and hardware. As Cogan told us, “I think the big barrier is going to be that it’s Windows-based, and so many people in the creative fields are really already decades down using Macs.” But, he adds, “As a drawing tool, this is great, it’s a lot of fun.”
If you can afford it, and your profession aligns with Microsoft’s intent to catalyze passion and ingenuity within creatives, the review consensus on the Surface Studio is largely suggesting a purchase. Those who are interested can order the computer from Microsoft’s online store, although following initial pre-orders the Surface Studio’s shipping estimate has now been pushed back to early 2017.
The cheapest model of Surface Studio includes an Intel Core i5 processor, 1TB hybrid drive, 8GB RAM, and a 2GB GPU for $2,999. That jumps up to $3,499 for an Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB RAM, with the top-of-the-line model running for $4,199 with a 2TB hybrid drive, i7 processor, 32GB RAM, and 4GB GPU. The Surface Dial comes packaged-in for pre-order customers who order the computer before December 1, but after that date it will cost $99 sold separately.
Tags: Microsoft, Microsoft Surface Studio
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It’s no secret that Virgin Media plans to release a new set-top-box: the Virgin TV V6 box powered by TiVo. There have been rumours and speculation ever since the company itself mentioned a new 4K device in an earnings report in May. Its even posted images and video of it on its official Twitter feed.
And considering it is hosting a special press event very soon, you can bet we’ll find out all about it then.
So, in the meantime, here’s everything we know about the new box so far.
Virgin Media V6 TiVo 2 box: Release date
Virgin Media is holding an event in London on the morning of Wednesday 30 November where it will undoubtedly unveil its new device. There’s no direct mention of the box on the official invite sent to Pocket-lint, but the ticket number down the side is V630112016, which refers to the model number and the date – V6 30/11/2016. And the company logo is for Virgin TV, not just Virgin Media in general.
As for when Vigin Media customers can get their hands on one, the company’s original year-end financial results said that it would be launched “later this year”, suggesting a 2016 release.
Virgin TV V6 TiVo 2 box: 4K Ultra HD
Also in May, a spokeswoman for Virgin Media confirmed to Pocket-lint that its next set-top-box would be TiVo-based and “4K ready”. The latter is vitally important considering Sky Q is now capable of playing 4K Ultra HD video, as is BT’s premium YouView box.
We’re not yet sure what 4K content the new V6 box will be able to play, however. Unlike Sky and BT, it does not generate its own content so will have to rely on deals with either its rivals for 4K sports coverage or other channels and platforms.
Considering the existing TiVo box has access to Netflix could mean that the new one will be able to playback 4K films and shows through the paid TV service. It would certainly make sense. Customers would need to subscribe to the top end Netflix package in that case to get UHD content, at £8.99 a month.
Virgin Media V6 TiVo 2 box: Design
Virgin Media first unveiled the new box design on its corporate Twitter feed at @VirginMediaCorp. It lead many to believe that the box was bigger than the existing TiVo STB, but, in fact, the opposite is true.
Sneak Preview: Say hello to our new Virgin TV V6 box, powered by TiVo. More to come soon. #VirginV6 pic.twitter.com/SBvpkRjvEz
— VirginMediaCorporate (@VirginMediaCorp) August 11, 2016
When seen alongside the existing VM TiVo remote, the box looks a little chunkier but when seen in a morphing video Virgin Media also released, it is clear that the device is considerably smaller.
Be one of the first to get updates on our new Virgin TV V6 box, powered by TiVo. Register at https://t.co/Anes1OOQRO pic.twitter.com/ygwYr7sCPd
— VirginMediaCorporate (@VirginMediaCorp) August 16, 2016
Virgin Media V6 TiVo 2 box: Specifications
Bar its 4K video output we’re yet to hear about the V6 box’s featureset or specifications. We can only speculate as to what it might hold in its bowels.
The flagship Sky Q box has a 2TB hard drive, so we’d think Virgin Media would want to match its main rival with its own flagship machine. We also think it will have several TV tuners to record multiple channels – the current TiVo box has three.
Where the Virgin TV device could better Sky’s equivalent is with the HDMI output. Sky has a HDMI 1.4b output with HDCP 2.2 copy protection, which allows for 2160p video but not high dynamic range picture tech (HDR). With the benefit of hindsight, it would be good to see Virgin Media adopt HDMI 2.0 for HDR output. That would make great sense if a deal with Netflix is on the cards.
Virgin Media V6 TiVo 2 box: Price
Pricing for paid TV packages is always complicated and we’re sure that the Virgin Media V6 box will come in at a premium price point. We’re not sure whether you’ll have to pay extra for the box, but Virgin Media’s top end TV packages (with broadband and landline phone) cost anywhere up to £120 a month.
Virgin Media V6 TiVo 2 box: Conclusion
This is an essential launch for Virgin Media. It needs to be able to compete with Sky on an even footing. It also has the advantage of being able to offer up to 200Mbps broadband alongside its new box.
It’s biggest pull though will come down to what 4K content it can offer, otherwise it might find it hard to convince existing customers to upgrade. At least initially. We’ll find out for sure on 30 November.
LinkedIn has been in a standoff with Russia over the country’s data protection laws. At issue is an order requiring companies that have personal data on Russian citizens to be stored on servers within the country itself. Last week, a local court ruled that LinkedIn was officially not in compliance with the ruling and had leeway to start blocking the site; today, Russian communications legislator Roskomnadzor released a statement confirming that Moscow’s city court upheld the decision to officially block the site in Russia.
LinkedIn released the following statement today regarding its situation in Russia: “LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for the entire global workforce. We are starting to hear from members in Russia that they can no longer access LinkedIn. Roskomnadzor’s action to block LinkedIn denies access to the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses. We remain interested in a meeting with Roskomnadzor to discuss their data localization request.”
LinkedIn had tried to meet with the Russian government last Friday to find a list-minute solution prior to being blocked, but today’s development and statement suggests that didn’t happen.
It’s worth noting that only 5 million of LinkedIn’s 467 million users are located in Russia, making the site somewhat of a strange target. One theory is that Russia went after a relatively small site to warn bigger sites that it’s serious about enforcing this law. In any event, we’ve reached out to LinkedIn to find out what it plans to do next for its Russian users.