Roku Search is a new one-stop tool that helps you find the content you want to watch across the many streaming services available on the set-top box. This new centralized search is an obvious addition that makes Roku more useful. Bravo. More »
Boxee plans to offer a new set-top box that will allow users to get over-the-air broadcast channels and access to a cloud DVR service, as reported by GigaOM Tuesday. The cloud DVR comes with a monthly fee, but will allow for unlimited storage space as it launches in a handful of cities next month.
The new box forgoes the XBMC platform used in older hardware in favor of a custom Linux-based operating system. The hardware itself is manufactured by D-Link, uses a Broadcom chip rather than the Intel chips in the old Boxee box, and looks like an unassuming black set-top box instead of Boxee’s usual oddly shaped-polygon balancing on one of its corners.
For the new product and service set, Boxee is streamlining its app offerings down to an essential few, including Vimeo, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, and Vudu. The over-the-air service and apps appear to be launching without regional restrictions, but the DVR service will only be available in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Washington, DC at first, with more markets coming in 2013. Once shows are recorded, users can watch them on a TV or through an HTML5 Web application on a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
There must be a resurgence of mobile TV in the works at Samsung. Just hours after it brought out the TV-equipped Galaxy S Lightray 4G, the company has confirmed (through partner Anritsu) that it’s successfully testing LTE Broadcast technology. As the name implies, the standard and its evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) pipe software-independent services like TV over a 4G network’s ample bandwidth rather than requiring dedicated networks and the costs that come with them — we all know how that last strategy panned out in the US. Unsurprisingly, Samsung isn’t saying what its long-term plans might be at this early stage, although we’d note that it isn’t alone. Qualcomm was showing LTE Broadcast back at Mobile World Congress, for example. While it’s far too soon to tell if there will be any American revival, Samsung’s help puts the writing on the wall for conventional mobile TV formats like T-DMB.
In January, BBC Learning, working with Blue Peter, ran their Script to Screen 2012 competition that challenged children aged 9-11 to write a script for Doctor Who with an Olympic theme in the comedic fantasy that is the Doctor Who style, and, of course, some Doctor Who tropes.
The winners are credited in the episode as “The Children of Ashdene School”. It’s actually a rather funny little script, especially considering it came from young uns. It’s also a wonderful little extra for the Doctor Who fans who just need something new from Doctor Who whenever they can get it.
Smartphone displays are becoming larger in size, and along with that, we’re seeing a nice trend that’s bringing greater pixel density. While LG Display’s newly-announced 1080p HD mobile display isn’t the most pixel dense that we’ve seen — a distinction that belongs to Toshiba — the five-inch panel is more appropriate for consumer applications and boasts an impressive pixel density of 440ppi. Its 16:9 aspect ratio was designed with HD content in mind, and the LCD technology isn’t anything to sneeze at, either: it’s a variant of IPS known as Advanced High Performance In-Plane Switching (AH-IPS), which is said to boast wide viewing angles, fast response times and improved brightness efficiency. Best yet, it seems that consumers won’t have long to wait before the panel works its way into consumer technology — the five-inch HD display is set for availability during the second-half of this year. To learn more of the Retina Display-shattering deets, you’ll find the full PR after the break.
Over the last year or so, Comcast released a couple of XFINITY apps that were nothing more than glorified TV guides or DVR managers. The one feature that would have actually made them useful on a regular basis, ON Demand streaming, was left out. That is until today. Comcast pushed the XFINITY TV Player app to the Play store, giving customers access to all of their favorite shows from anywhere in the world. It works over WiFi or a data connection, and does it flawlessly. I fired up the app for a few minutes and was watching old Eastbound & Down videos within seconds. Thanks, Comcast.