HiSense continues its dedication to Google as an operating system with a slew of new hardware powered by Android 4.2.2 that features Google services for TV (the product formerly known as Google TV). The first is its new line of H6 Smart TVs powered by Marvell's latest ARMADA 1500 PLUS HD Media processor, an upgraded over last year's chip that powered many of the first ARM Google TV devices. Available in 40-inch, 50-inch and 55-inch sizes, the televisions come equipped with the company's Social TV and Cloud Services app, a 120Hz refresh rate, Energy Star 6.0 qualifications, 1GB RAM and 8GB ROM. The remote has 30 keys, a built-in air mouse with IQQI Smart Input and voice search functionality. For those who already have a TV but want the same services, HiSense also revealed the Pulse PRO set-top box, which has many of the same features as the H6 but, like the first generation Pulse, can be hooked up to any television set. Other features of the Pulse PRO include Netflix, Vudu HD movies, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, Google Play, HDMI, IR, DLNA, WiFi, Bluetooth, USB and Ethernet. We're not sure of pricing and availability just yet, and there are no pictures of the new hardware either.
Verizon's FiOS mobile apps for Android and iOS are about to get significantly more appealing, as the carrier has just added 16 additional channels for out-of-home live streaming. When this feature debuted back in September, it only supported nine channels, including the Travel Channel and the BBC. As of today, though, FiOS customers will also have access to Encore, Showtime, Starz and many more. Verizon's also targeting sports fans with the addition of beIN and NFL Redzone. Here's hoping even more channels are to come.
You may think your current HDTV is bright enough, but Dolby disagrees. The company, which is known more for its audio tech than its imaging capabilities, has been putting a lot of effort into developing a new type of imaging technology that offers up to 4,000 nits of backlight out of an LED panel. Compared to the TV standard of 100 nits, this is certainly a hefty improvement. Why is such a thing helpful? The 100-nit limit makes life difficult for filmmakers in post-production because they're not able to represent their masterpiece with perfectly accurate colors; there's only so much you can do to accurately portray the real world on such a limited budget of light. Bumping the display up to 4,000, however, allows the viewer to enjoy a much better experience.
Dolby showed us a prototype of this experimental tech, which we're told will likely be exhibited at CES next month (either in prototype or in a consumer product, though this will be up to individual manufacturers). The 2K panel sat next to a production monitor that many filmmakers use as their current reference -- in other words, what they use for viewing their footage before it goes through the process of compression and other tweaks -- and the difference was night and day. Despite the fact that both monitors have the same resolution, the prototype (on the left in the above image) offered far more realistic colors, higher dynamic range and more contrast sensitivity, all of which were factors that created a fantastic viewing experience. As an example, the skies were bluer on the new monitor, and clouds that were barely noticeable on the production model actually popped out far more accurately on the prototype.
We're told that the new imaging technology has already been shown off to key filmmakers in the industry, and that we'll likely see a lot more (including, we hope, an official name) on display at CES. Where it goes from there, Dolby tells us, is all up to manufacturers. And while we may see a lot more of this tech in the near future, there's no guarantee that other companies will build their monitors to the same spec (manufacturers aren't forced to go all the way up to 4,000 nits, for instance). Regardless, we'll happily take one when they start making their way into production.
When we reviewed the GameStick Android console, one of our main concerns was how the library of titles on offer would pan out over time. Today, it's just been announced that Ubisoft will be bringing its Prince of Persia franchise to the platform. Specifically The Shadow and the Flame. This is good news for GameStick owners, and represents the first major developer to embrace the platform, though there's no official release date just yet. PlayJam (the company behind GameStick) advises that there are even more big name game houses set to get onboard too. Of course, there's still plenty of love for the indie side of things, but for those that like to ride both sides of the gaming tracks, things are looking up.
You'd better put that coffee down before you exhale it through your nose. Why? Because thanks to the very kind folk at Cartridge Discount, you could win a 3D printer. A second generation Cube by 3D Systems, to be precise. Not only would this make any tech-lover's Christmas, it solves your shopping woes too -- now you can print those socks for Uncle Alan if you win. Or stock up on bargain toner from Cartridge Discount if you don't. So, undoubtedly this is one heck of a prize for our UK readers (sorry everyone else), but you're likely wondering what you need to do to take part? Well here's the best part, just head past the break, read the terms and conditions (important!), and choose from the assortment of entry methods we've laid on for you. Don't thanks us, thank your lucky stars.
Plex might be a straggler in the iOS 7 app update parade, but as they say: better late than never. The refreshed app comes with a new look for Apple's latest mobile platform, but since it retains most of the old interface's elements, you can't exactly call it a complete overhaul. Other than this mostly skin-deep change, this release also brings a new video player, an "improved music player" and the ability to sniff out URLs from the clipboard for queuing to its myPlex cloud-synced platform. Finally, its creators peppered in a bunch of bug fixes, including ones for random freezes and syncing errors, to make version 3.3 more palatable and perhaps more worth its $5 price in the App Store.
It's been a relatively slow week for news due to the holiday, but there's still plenty for your hosts Ben Drawbaugh and Richard Lawler to chat about. While Sony is bragging about it's November PS4 sales, Microsoft is keeping quiet and dealing with a few compatibility issues on the UK front. Looking forward to the next round of holidays, Ben is predicting a rush on the affordable Chromecast device and Netflix is offering up a new animated series to bulk up its Christmas programming -- which it's definitely lacking. There's still plenty of football going on -- both real and imaginary -- and Richard takes a moment to lament both his fantasy picks and Michigan's ability on the field. All this and more is waiting for you at the streaming links below, so head on down for another edition of the Engadget HD Podcast.
Producer: Jon Turi
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Following in Samsung's footsteps, Philips has announced that it's bringing Spotify to its Smart TV platform in Europe. As of today, those of you across the pond who own a qualifying 2013 Philips set -- including the series 6008, 7008, 8008 and 9708 -- will have access to the renowned music streaming service. In addition, Philips is flipping the switch on the Cloud TV service it revealed back at this year's IFA, which allows viewers to stream "hundreds" of channels over the internet on Smart TVs from 2012 and 2013. That's not all though, as the manufacturer also added Cloud Explorer to 2013 models, giving users access to photos, videos and other documents they have stored on a Dropbox account. All in all, we'd say it's a pretty good day to be a Euro-based owner of a Philips intelligent television.%Gallery-slideshow130874%
Award-winning Netflix original series House of Cards returns on Valentine's Day 2014 with a second season
In what we can only hope will be a dog murder-free second season, Netflix announced this morning that original series House of Cards returns on February 14th, 2014. Apparently Netflix is big on releasing original programming alongside holidays -- smart, considering the binge-viewing around said time periods. It's a big date for the Kevin Spacey vehicle, with the entire 13-episode season launching on Netflix at once in all territories Netflix is available (the US, Canada, the UK, Latin America and Ireland).
The show received a smattering of Emmy nominations earlier this year -- HoC is one of several major plays Netflix is making into original programming. Both Orange is the New Black and Arrested Development's revival led the Netflix initiative in 2013, and it looks like the same series that popularized original Netflix content will continue that push in 2014.
A new teaser popped up today alongside the Valentine's Day launch news, featuring Claire in a not uncommon place: smoking a cigarette by the window. See it for yourself below!
It looks like Microsoft is on its way to the "tens of thousands of games" it wants produced through its "ID@Xbox" self-publishing program on Xbox One: The company announced this morning that the program will kick off starting in early 2014. The news dropped alongside a lengthy list of developers already signed on -- from the big (Crytek) to the small (Definition 6, which is basically just a single dude) -- some of which we've already heard from. Below dev studio Capy, for instance, was a known quantity.
We've dropped the full list of devs after the break, alongside some of the games they're best known for. Microsoft's self-publishing head Chris Charla (the man previously behind Xbox Live Arcade) says today's list of devs is "far from comprehensive," and "just the first selection of the hugely diverse complement of developers who are working on bringing games to Xbox One via ID@Xbox beginning early next year."
Source: Xbox Wire
After dedicating a lot of focus to its streaming subscription services, Sky is finally showing some love for those who like to rent movies. Originally only available to its TV customers, the broadcasting giant has opened the Sky Store to all in the UK, allowing anyone with a browser, Now TV, Roku or YouView box to rent any of its 1,200 movies. While Now TV attempts to conquer the UK streaming market, Sky's Store expansion will provide a firm footing for it to take on Apple's iTunes and Google's Play Store in the fight over à la carte movie downloads. For latest releases, the Sky Store charges £3.49 (around $6) per rental, with older movies available for between 99p and £1.99. You will, of course, still be able to access the Sky Store via your Sky+ box, but if you've decided to make cut the cord, today's announcement may help if you've watched everything in your Netflix or Lovefilm queue.
Via: Sky Press
Source: Sky Store
Many Smart TVs don't really talk to other devices as well as we'd like; integration tends to be basic, proprietary or both. LG may soon have a more elegant solution, as it's promising AllJoyn support in its TV line. The Qualcomm-built framework should let you control on-screen activity from any AllJoyn-capable device, whatever platform it runs -- Android, iOS and Windows users could theoretically play the same TV game. LG hasn't said when AllJoyn will reach its sets, but we wouldn't be surprised if the company has more to say at CES next month.
It's Tuesday and time for the Engadget HD Podcast. We hope you'll join us live when the Engadget HD podcast starts recording at 8:30PM. Tonight we try to finish up our Xbox One and PS4 news by covering the news both have endured, post launch. If you'll be joining us, take a peek at the topics after the break -- then do everything else you'll need to do in order to be ready to participate in the live chat.
You remember when that ironically titled film Turbo came out this past summer? The one about the snails (thus the irony)? Apparently it was popular enough to warrant an exclusive animated series on Netflix -- the streaming service's first such investment -- and it becomes available on Christmas Eve. Just in time to distract the little ones while you're gorging on nog!
On December 24th, the first five episodes of Turbo FAST go live on Netflix in the US, Canada, Ireland, Latin America and the UK, while the rest of the season will go live at unnamed intervals during 2014. As such, we'd suggest meting out those first five episodes sparingly, lest the little ones demand more before more are available.
Now that British Android users finally have access to TV shows on the Play Store, Google's finally starting to make good on its promise to deliver award-winning content. Following its deal in the US, the search giant has today made Game of Thrones and other popular HBO shows like Boardwalk Empire, True Blood and Girls, available on the UK store. While Sky and Tesco's VOD service Blinkbox beat all other UK players to the punch by offering Game of Thrones TV broadcasts and streams respectively, Google will enjoy the fact it has access to the first three seasons of the show ahead of Apple. For Game of Thrones, you'll pay £18.49 (around $30) for each season or £1.89 (around $3) for individual episodes, with other shows coming in slightly cheaper. Google says classic HBO series like The Wire and The Sopranos will soon be available, letting Android smartphone, tablet and set-top box owners access episodes from early next year.
Via: The Guardian
Source: Google Play Store
One million units in a day was a pretty good start, and SCE's Andrew House has just announced that the company's now sold 2.1 million PlayStation 4s as of December 1st. That combines sales from the US, Europe and parts of Asia, although the Sony console hasn't reached every corner of the globe just yet. Perhaps everyone's read our recommendation...
Update: Microsoft issued its own numbers missive this afternoon, instead choosing to tout various game stats of the Xbox One rather than sales numbers. The piece says "over 3 billion" zombies were killed in Dead Rising 3 and that "over 90 million miles" were driven in Forza Motorsport 5 by December 1st. It doesn't say whether or not the Xbox One bested 2.1 million consoles sold by December 1st, and we're betting it doesn't because the Xbox One still hasn't bested 2.1 million consoles sold as of December 1st. Read into it what you will -- the Xbox One launched seven days after the PlayStation 4, albeit in more markets, and both consoles are on-track to sell out everywhere this holiday. We're just glad the next-gen is finally here!PlayStation
Sure, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are here, but this week's big game release is for the PS3. Gran Turismo 6 arrives Friday, while the latest iteration of the racing franchise will feature over 1,200 cars (including a moon buggy, because why not?) and all the tracks of its predecessor (Forza 5 -- we're talking to you). College football fans can look forward to a slew of championship football games this weekend leading up to the big bowl selection reveal Sunday night. On Blu-ray we're looking forward to The Wolverine, and the long-awaited Blu-ray release of EuroTrip. Look after the break for our weekly listing of what to look out for in TV, Blu-ray and gaming.
It was just over a month ago when NVIDIA's handheld, Shield, got the ability to stream Android games to TVs at 1080p resolution via Console Mode. Today, it can now do the same for PC games thanks to a software update that also brings improvements to 720p streaming mode and its Gamepad Mapper feature, too. Of course, the Gamestream technology that powers Shield streaming officially supports a limited number of games at the moment, with Batman: Arkham Origins, Borderlands 2 and Assasin's Creed IV: Black Flag among the highlights. In all, 63 games are currently available to stream in full HD, with more titles scheduled to be added every week.
With Gamepad Mapper, users can now map motion controls to physical ones. So, instead of tilting your handheld from side to side in the games designed to do so, you can map those gyro inputs to the Shield's thumbsticks instead. And, to better let folks know of all the custom control possibilities, NVIDIA is rolling out a community beta feature that lets folks share and rate different control map profiles. Lastly, if you have a Shield and live in Northern California, you can now get in on NVIDIA's GRID beta. For folks who aren't familiar, GRID is NVIDIA's cloud gaming technology, similar to Gaikai and OnLive. So, folks with a sub-40ms ping time to NVIDIA's San Jose, Calif., servers and a minimum 10 Mbps connection through a GameStream-ready router can get exclusive access to the service's library of games on their Shield. Looks like Christmas came early, folks, so head on down to the source for the info needed to grab all the goodies.
As tempting as post-Thanksgiving savings are, some of us simply aren't brave enough to face the Black Friday hordes. That doesn't mean stay-at-home shoppers aren't still looking for a bargain: Cyber Monday is upon us, and there are deals aplenty. If you skipped this weekend's brick-and-mortar discounts, read on -- we've got TVs, PCs and tablets galore. Can't find what you're looking for? Stick around, we'll be updating this post as more deals go live.
If you've been eager to send cloud or locally-stored media to your TV, another option could be on the way. Currently in beta, AllCast is an Android app that streams content from places like Google Drive, Dropbox or your mobile device's storage to an Apple TV, Roku, Xbox console, Samsung Smart TV and other DLNA-compatible hardware. ClockworkMod dev Koushik Dutta is behind the wheel here, however there's currently no support for Chromecast -- something we hope he'll be allowed to restore once the device's Cast SDK is released. In order to test drive this latest version of the software, you'll need to join the ClockworkMod beta testers group before nabbing the download from the Play Store (no rooting required). Need further convincing before opting in? Head down past the break for a video demo.Android Police
Source: Koushik Dutta (Google+)