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Set top box

Amazon to launch its set top box on the 2nd of April?

Amazon Set Top Box

Amazon Set Top Box

The much rumored Amazon branded home set top box will be launching next week if a new event invitation is any indication. The invite shows a couch with some popcorn, clearly hinting at something home media related. The online retailer has long been rumored to venture its way into this segment, but is only now appearing to be taking the big step. The event will be hosted by the Vice President of Amazon, Peter Larsen and will begin at 11 AM Eastern Time on the 2nd of April.

Details on what this device will feature are very scarce at the moment, but we’ve seen an Amazon branded gaming controller leaking out a couple of weeks ago which could be a part of this setup. Amazon Prime should most likely be integrated within this device as well, which is a logical move.

It should most likely be running on Android, but since Google doesn’t approve Amazon devices, don’t expect support for core Google apps like the Play Store and other services. But considering that Amazon has its own app ecosystem now, this shouldn’t be a major concern. We’ll mark our calendars for the 2nd of April and get you all the information from the event. Stay tuned!

Via: ReCode

Sony’s Google TV box gets a refresh

OnLive on Sony's Google TVSony has just announce their new Google TV set top box the NSZ-GS8, this refresh model is set to replace the older NSZ-GS7. The refresh adds a microphone to the remote which allows you to preform voice searches which Google added to the platform last fall. There are no other major changes to the system except from the ability to perform voice searches. The device will be available in stores by early July with a price tag of $199.

Google TV doesn’t seem to be attracting the amount of people that the company had originally hope for the service, especially since their attempt at an actual TV didn’t fly off of the shelves the service seems to be treading water at the moment. The refresh of Sony’s Google TV set top box might sell a few units but it definitely won’t sell to the masses who are quite content not having their television connected to the internet.

Google’s biggest competition is from other set top boxes that have made their way into the peoples homes via their cable provider. For instance Tivo is very popular and they have adopted some of the features that you would find on your generic Google TV set top box.

Source: Engadget

Intel pushing millions into the TV streaming project

intel-tv

intel-tv

New reports are suggesting Intel is pushing millions into the TV streaming project, officially announced by the company last year. The company is said to be in talks with all major cable companies and is offering high rates.

Intel is apparently offering 75% more than traditional cable rates and CBS, News Corp and Viacom are all on board for the streaming project, however Comcast NBC is still a little shaky.

This is for the startup process, Intel is willing to splash out immensely on licensing and other content deals to make the service big, but when the service gets popular they will downsize, as Netflix has done with their catalog.

We have not heard anything about original programming, from the startup Intel may be trying to push content everyone knows for the subscribers. However, if Netflix’s added growth has shown everything, it is people will stay on the service once their is something exclusive they cannot watch anywhere else.

Other reports suggest the Intel TV streaming project will not be a half-assed move and it will come at a premium price. Some estimate about $30 while others believe it could go to $70 for the experience.

This will be backed up by Intel’s illusive range of high quality content, ranging from all topics. The content will hopefully not be spiked, with one season missing or having to wait ages for the next season to roll out.

Source: Reuters 

Intel to Release Set Top Streaming Box

Turns out the recent rumblings of Intel releasing a media streaming box to compete with the Apple TV and Roku were right. Erik Hugers, Corporate VP and GM of Intel Media announced at D:Drive Into Media 2013 that Intel would in fact be getting into the streaming set top box arena. Like other set top boxes of this type, content will be delivered to users through their existing home internet through third party content providers such as Hulu and Netflix

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The box is scheduled to be released later this year but it won’t be the fulfill the whole “vision” that Intel is hoping for at launch. Eventually Intel plans to include live tv, on demand, and DVR features. This box represents a long term plan for the company. Host for the interview, Walt Mossberg, inquired about the bundles that are part of current pay TV providers and if those will remain as part of Intel’s service and Huggers stated that while there is some value in bundles there is also clearly a yearning for more freedom in the way consumers have access to the content being provided to them and that Intel would recognize and try to address that need.

Intel clearly has some big plans for pay tv and tv set top steaming boxes and could shake things up for the market in a big way. This will definitely be a piece of tech to keep an eye on when it launches later this year.

Source Engadget

Sony Introduces New Internet Box With Google Play In Tow

Sony was an aggressive launch partner for the first wave of Google TV’s. It seems that an Android/Google strategy is still part of Sony’s plan for the set top box category.

Sony held a Bravia event yesterday in Singapore and showed off an Android Internet Box. There was no name announced at the event. It’s a simple set top box with access to the internet. There is a remote control and a qwerty keyboard ala previous Google TV and set top box remotes, like Boxee for instance.

One thing that stood out to CNet Asia’s Philip Wong noticed, was the presence of a record button and a 3d button on the remote control. It looks like dvr and 3d are baked into the device.

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Android Set Top Boxes By iconBit At CES

A Russian company called IconBit has put our favorite little green robot into the set top box. No we’re not talking Google TV we’re talking Android TV like the People of Lava have done with television sets.

The IconBit set top boxes come in 4 varieties. The smallest box is just $99 and offers true HD video playback of virtually any video file. Add the ability to download and run apps and you’re looking at a powerful Android device with a gigantic display once hooked up to your television.

For just a little bit more you can get a 3D powered IconBit box which will deliver 3d over your television set via HDMI and with the power of Android.

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Holiday Gift Guide: Neo TV NTV200 The Stocking Stuffable Set Top Box

Netgear recently added a newer smaller device to it’s neotv unit to it’s line up of set top boxes. The NTV200 is a small compact set top streaming box that has come down in price since it’s release. The size of it makes it perfect as a stocking stuffer and for traveling.

While many sites have said it’s no more than a streaming box we could see a real use for the Neo TV NTV200 for college student dorm rooms, and travelers who want to make sure they have their favorite streaming apps in an HDMI ready device.

We keep talking about the size, how big is it exactly? Try 4.4 inches square so not much bigger than some of the newer smartphones.

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Roku Offering Rock Solid Customer Service

The set top media box business is heating up. We’ve got Google TV’s Logitech Review, The Boxee Box and The Roku.  The Roku has been on the market for three years, and James who wrote into the consumerist.com received a hand me down Roku box from his father when he upgraded.

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