Tags home entertainment

Samsung’s New TV Remotes Will Control Your Whole Set-Up

It’s very easy indeed to end up with a sofa arm littered with button-clad boxes. But while after-market multi-device controllers exist, Samsung plans to solve the problem straight out of the box with its new smart TV remotes.

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Jamie Condliffe

January 4th

Uncategorized

You Know You Want This 60-Inch HD Arcade Machine with Built-In Kegerator

You Know You Want This 60-Inch HD Arcade Machine with Built-In Kegerator

What if you combined your three favorite things into one big toy? What's that? You would combine beer, video games, and high definition TV? No need to imagine, folks. Such a machine exists, and it only costs $5,000.

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Adam Clark Estes

November 22nd

Uncategorized

The iPad Mini Is The Ideal Second Screen Companion

ipad-mini-tv

One thing that’s become apparent about the iPad mini during my past few days with it is just how well it fills the role of a second-screen device. The iPhone and the iPad both have their merits as a companion while lounging around and watching TV, but the iPad mini hits the sweet spot of portability, power and connectivity for that use case. Fellow TC writer MG Siegler already explained why he thinks the iPad mini will eventually overtake the full-sized iPad as the sales leader for Apple, and I agree 100 percent, but zeroing in on its second screen suitability might help convince those who still doubt that the smaller iPad will eventually take the crown.

Second screen experiences are increasingly common; startups like Fanatix, GetGlue, MOVL, and countless others are developing platforms and apps to help users get more out of their TV viewing experiences, and networks are encouraging hashtag campaigns and turning to Twitter to leverage the conversations already happening there. A recent Nielsen report showed that 86 percent of smartphone owners and 88 percent of tablet owners use their devices while watching TV, and smartphone ownership in the U.S. recently crossed the 50 percent threshold, meaning a huge number of TV viewers are dividing their attention. Second screen isn’t a trend to watch; it’s a living, breathing phenomenon that’s already arrived.

Before the iPad mini arrived, the iPad was the perfect venue for reaching out to TV viewers with value-add experiences. Users of Apple’s tablet tend to be more affluent, more receptive to online advertising and more likely to spend money on their devices. If you’re losing eyeballs during commercial breaks to mobile devices, in a best-case scenario you’re driving additional content complete with related promotions from your advertising partners to those same devices, and in a perfect world, those audiences fit the demographic tendencies of iPad owners.

While it’s too early to tell for sure, I’m willing to bet the iPad mini’s user base will resemble the iPad’s more so than it’ll look like the ownership population of cheaper, Android-based devices. And because of the iPad mini’s key areas of difference compared to the iPad (over 50 percent lighter, 23 percent thinner), it’s a much more convenient device to pick up and put down frequently while watching TV programming. Plus, it has access to the same software library as its bigger cousin, meaning developers don’t necessarily need to go back to the drawing board to create second screen apps for a new form factor.

The iPad mini’s size makes it a take-anywhere device, and its screen real estate ensures that users won’t just give up on engaging with content that might involve a lot of reading or might be a better handled on a desktop than on a tiny smartphone screen. And the device isn’t compromised in terms of connectivity or capabilities, either; the cameras are good, it’s got Bluetooth, optional cellular connectivity and all of the AirPlay capabilities of its bigger sibling, all of which could potentially be leveraged by developers to make second screen activities more engaging.

In reality, the iPad mini is better for a number of use cases than its larger predecessor, but it seems like the perfect couch companion after a few days of thorough testing of that theory. With mobile tech moving steadily toward a place of prominence in the family living room, watch for the iPad mini to become the pace setter  in this key changing facet of home entertainment.


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Darrell Etherington

November 4th

Apple

Gadgets

Mobile

The iPad Mini Is The Ideal Second Screen Companion

ipad-mini-tv

One thing that’s become apparent about the iPad mini during my past few days with it is just how well it fills the role of a second screen device. The iPhone and the iPad both have their merits as a companion while lounging around and watching TV, but the iPad mini hits the sweet spot of portability, power and connectivity for that use case. Fellow TC writer MG Siegler already explained why he thinks the iPad mini will eventually overtake the full-sized iPad as the sales leader for Apple, and I agree 100 percent, but zeroing in on its second-screen suitability might help convince those who still doubt that the smaller iPad will eventually take the crown.

Second screen experiences are increasingly common; startups like Fanatix, GetGlue, MOVL, and countless others are developing platforms and apps to help users get more out of their TV viewing experiences, and networks are encouraging hashtag campaigns and turning to Twitter to leverage the conversations already happening there. A recent Nielsen report showed that 86 percent of smartphone owners, and 88 percent of tablet owners use their devices while watching TV, and smartphone ownership in the U.S. recently crossed the 50 percent threshold, meaning a huge number of TV viewers are dividing their attention. Second screen isn’t a trend to watch; it’s a living, breathing phenomenon that’s already arrived.

Before the iPad mini arrived, the iPad was the perfect venue for reaching out to TV viewers with value-add experiences. Users of Apple’s tablet tend to be more affluent, more receptive to online advertising and more likely to spend money on their devices. If you’re losing eyeballs during commercial breaks to mobile devices, in a best case scenario you’re driving additional content complete with related promotions from your advertising partners to those same devices, and in a perfect world, those audiences fit the demographic tendencies of iPad owners.

While it’s too early to tell for sure, I’m willing to bet the iPad mini’s user base will resemble the iPad’s, more so than it’ll look like the ownership population of cheaper, Android-based devices. And because of the iPad mini’s key areas of difference compared to the iPad (over 50 percent lighter, 23 percent thinner), it’s a much more convenient device to pick up and put down frequently while watching TV programming. Plus, it has access to the same software library as its bigger cousin, meaning developers don’t necessarily need to go back to the drawing board to create second screen apps for a new form factor.

The iPad mini’s size makes it a take-anywhere device, and its screen real estate ensures that users won’t just give up on engaging with content that might involve a lot of reading or might be better handled on a desktop than on a tiny smartphone screen. And the device isn’t compromised in terms of connectivity or capabilities, either; the cameras are good, it’s got Bluetooth, optional cellular connectivity and all of the AirPlay capabilities of its bigger sibling, all of which could potentially be leveraged by developers to make second screen activities more engaging.

In reality, the iPad mini is better for a number of use cases than its larger predecessor, but it seems like the perfect couch companion after a few days of thorough testing of that theory. With mobile tech moving steadily towards a place of prominence in the family living room, watch for the iPad mini to become the pace setter  in this key changing facet of home entertainment.


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Darrell Etherington

November 4th

Apple

Gadgets

Mobile

Portable Projector for iPhone is Concept from Honlai [Concept]

On show at Computex in Taipei this month has been Honlai's pocket-sized projector for iPhone. Only a concept, the dock-esque gizmo is smaller than the company's palm-sized LED projector, but it's the kind of thing I can see getting the production thumbs-up. A couple of bonus shots are below. More »


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AddyDugdale

May 10th

Uncategorized

Amazon to develop original programming

Amazon to develop original content

Amazon on Wednesday announced an expansion of its Amazon Studios division, which will soon develop original content. The retail giant is currently accepting proposals for comedy and children’s programming to be distributed through its Instant Video service, the company said on Wednesday. “Amazon Studios wants to discover great talent and produce programming that audiences will love,” said Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios. “In the course of developing movies, we’ve heard a lot of interest from content creators who want to develop original series in the comedy and children’s genres. We are excited to bring writers, animators and directors this new opportunity to develop original series.” If selected for a full-budget series, the creator will receive $55,000 and up to 5% of Amazon’s net receipts from toy and t-shirt licensing, along with other royalties and bonuses. Amazon’s press release follows below.

Amazon Studios to Develop Original Comedy and Children’s Series for Amazon Instant Video

Writers, animators and filmmakers around the world are now invited to submit comedic and children’s series proposals

SEATTLE—May 2, 2012—(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon.com, Inc. today announced that Amazon Studios is expanding its development efforts into comedy and children’s series. Amazon Studios is Amazon’s content development division that uses audience feedback to identify great, original entertainment customers will love. Starting today, series creators are invited to upload their proposals for comedy and children’s programming to Amazon Studios at http://studios.amazon.com/getting-started/series. The best comedy and children’s series will be distributed through Amazon Instant Video, Amazon’s digital video streaming service.

“Amazon Studios wants to discover great talent and produce programming that audiences will love,” said Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios. “In the course of developing movies, we’ve heard a lot of interest from content creators who want to develop original series in the comedy and children’s genres. We are excited to bring writers, animators and directors this new opportunity to develop original series.”

Each month, Amazon Studios intends to option one promising new project and add it to the development slate where it will be tested for viability with an audience. If Amazon Studios elects to distribute a full-budget series, the creator will receive a $55,000 payment, up to 5 percent of Amazon’s net receipts from toy and t-shirt licensing, and other royalties and bonuses. Amazon Studios’ production company, the People’s Production Company is signatory to the Writers Guild of America and to The Animation Guild, Local 839.

To submit, a project must have a five-page description, along with a 22-minute pilot script for comedies, or an 11-minute pilot script for children’s shows. Within 45 days of submission, Amazon Studios will either extend an option on the project for $10,000 or invite the creator to add the project to the Amazon Studios site. If a project is not optioned, creators may remove their idea from the Amazon Studios site or leave it to get community feedback.

Amazon Studios new series development is led by Joe Lewis, previously with 20th Century Fox and Comedy Central and Tara Sorensen, formerly with National Geographic Kids.

Amazon Studios launched in November 2010. Since then, more than 700 test movies and 7,000 scripts have been submitted and 15 movie projects are currently under development.

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Dan Graziano

May 3rd

Uncategorized

Apple in talks to stream EPIX films to Apple TV

Apple TV to stream EPIX moviesApple is reportedly in talks to stream films owned by EPIX — a joint venture among Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Lionsgate — across a variety of devices, including the long-anticipated iTV, according to a report from Reuters. Two people with knowledge of the negotiations told the publication that the talks are in the preliminary stages and no agreement is considered near. The Cupertino-based company is reportedly looking to beef up the content offered through its Apple TV set-top box and upcoming devices. An agreement could prove troublesome, however, due to EPIX’s $200 million agreement with Netflix, which gave the company exclusive streaming rights through September.

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Dan Graziano

April 28th

Apple

Comcast deals blow to net neutrality, says own video service is exempt from bandwidth caps

Cable network operator and Internet service provider Comcast reportedly confirmed earlier this week that it would give its own video streaming service a huge advantage over rival services like Netflix. Showing blatant disregard for net neutrality principles, Comcast said this week that its video streaming service Xfinity will be exempt from the 250GB bandwidth cap it foists on subscribers, Raw Story reports. Movies and TV shows streamed using rival services such as Netflix and Hulu will still apply toward users’ monthly bandwidth caps. Microsoft announced earlier this week that Comcast’s Xfinity service was launching on its popular Xbox 360 video game and home entertainment console, and heavy users on Comcast’s network now have a clear reason to choose Xfinity over any of the dozens of rival streaming services supported by the Xbox.

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Creative media technologies image via Shutterstock.

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Zach Epstein

March 29th

Uncategorized

Xbox Live update delivers Comcast’s VOD service, HBO Go and MLB.TV

Microsoft has begun to roll out an update for its Xbox Live service that includes new on-demand content from Comcast, along with apps from HBO and MLB, GigaOM reported on Monday. The launch these services will give users the ability to search through a wide range of content directly from their game console. In October, Microsoft announced a number of new content partners that would deliver movies, television shows and other content to its popular Xbox 360 game console. The system had already received updates that included apps from Verizon, Epix, Vevo, Vudu and YouTube. The launch of HBO Go comes as little surprise. In February, the company’s co-president Eric Kessler told reporters that the Xbox HBO Go app would go live on April 1st, in time for the season premiere of “Game of Thrones.” Microsoft fans noted that the company always releases updates on Tuesdays, however, and it was unlikely for HBO to roll out an update the day of the premiere to avoid download complications.

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Dan Graziano

March 27th

Uncategorized

Apple TV (2012) hands-on!

It's not that the new Apple TV wasn't rumored, but still -- announcing it here at the new iPad launch? Bold, Apple. Really bold. Looks as if Apple's hobby is now becoming a right-hand man for the iPad, and given the increasing importance placed on AirPlay, it's no wonder that the next Apple TV feels less like a standalone box and more like a killer $99 accessory for your iPad. We got a brief look at the new 1080p-capable set-top box here in San Francisco, and not surprisingly, it's small. Really small. In fact, it's just as tiny as the prior Apple TV. It's hard to glean much about the functionality given the limited setup we're seeing here, but suffice it to say, to-be iPad buyers are apt to become the largest sect of Apple TV buyers if the two are marketed together correctly.

It'll ship alongside the new iPad on March 16th for $99, with a revamped user interface and 1080p output being the only notable differences. Same HDMI output, and we're told that those with slower connections can opt out of 1080p in the settings menu. Moreover, content partners are working around the clock to add 1080p versions to the store, and naturally SD and 720p content will remain for those on older Apple TV units. You can bet that we'll be taking a long, hard look at the wire-free wizardry in our full review; for now, however, there's a gallery of shots below demanding your attention.

For more coverage of Apple's iPad event, visit our hub!

Apple TV (2012) hands-on! originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 07 Mar 2012 14:47:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darren Murph

March 7th

Apple
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