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Samsung still sending unencrypted data through its Smart TVs

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Samsung came under fire recently for listening to conversations on its Smart TVs and then sending the data unencrypted over to its servers. Samsung responded by saying that the television on which this was found was an older model and newer models don’t have this issue.

Unfortunately for Samsung, the researchers at Pentest Partners found even the new TVs exhibit the same behavior. While the previous test featured the UE46ES8000 model from around two years ago, the new test featured the UE55HU7500 model launched last year and still on sale. Even on this model it was noted that data was being sent in plaintext. Read more »

Samsung has remained on top of global TV markets for 9 consecutive years

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Samsung is on top of the food chain when it comes to a lot of tech markets. If there is one thing the Korean giant is extremely good at it has to be display panels. Samsung has built a formidable reputation as a major innovator in this area as well as a top supplier both to third-party manufacturers and consumer markets.

According to DisplaySearch, a leader in global market research, Samsung Electronics has been holding the first place in annual TV sales worldwide for the last 9 years straight. In 2014 the Korean manufacturer accounted for 29.2% of the sales, a huge leap from 11.9% in 2013. The number is even more impressive for North America, where Samsung dwarfs competition with a 35.3% TV market share. Read more »

LG aims to be in the forefront of premium TV market with newly-unveiled lineup

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On a dedicated event in Seoul today LG Electronics pulled the wraps off its global TV lineup for the 2015 model year. The company’s newly-adopted DUAL PREMIUM strategy plans to put LG in a leading position in the global premium TV market, while simultaneously expanding the upmarket segment as a whole.

The company is launching a range of OLED TV sets with 55″, 65″ and 77″ screens in flat and curved flavors. Read more »

Preliminary prices leaked for Samsung’s upcoming SUHD 4K TV lineup

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Samsung held a grand press conference at this year’s CES, but most of you surely remember the rather disappointing void of smartphones at the venue. Amidst the sea of home appliances and multimedia service announcements there was still something that captured our interest. The Korean giant unveiled a brand new TV technology, called SUHD and promised it will be available in upcoming models.

There has been little information about these TV sets, except for various size and price speculations and what Samsung already made clear about the technology. Today, however a new leak claims to disclose information about the full SUHD lineup with model numbers and prices. It is reported that the TVs will range from about $2500 all the way to $23,000 which is in no way budget friendly even in the premium segment. They will also be powered by the company’s own OS – Tizen, which is also exciting as the platform is growing at a phenomenal rate. Read more »

[Updated] Samsung’s Smart TVs send unencrypted data over the Internet, researchers say

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Last week, after it was discovered that Samsung’s smart TVs are potentially listening to everything that users say and sharing the collected information, a company spokesperson said, “In all of our Smart TVs we employ industry-standard security safeguards and practices, including data encryption, to secure consumers’ personal information and prevent unauthorized collection or use.” However, apparently that’s not correct, as it has now been discovered that the voice data these TVs send over the internet is not encrypted.

Update: Samsung is aware of the issue and is working on a fix. The company says that new models include encryption, while older devices will get it as an update. Read more »

Google Chromecast scored 10 million sales in 2014

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It’s not surprising that Google’s Chromecast HDMI streaming stick has been quite successful. After all it’s cheap and relatively easy to use, and it can instantly make your TV smarter than it was. Today though we get the first glimpse of just how successful the Chromecast was, at least during last year.

That’s because for the first time ever Google has shared some sales numbers with the media. According to a report out of South Korea, the search giant’s arm in that country has revealed that 10 million Chromecasts were sold globally in 2014. Read more »

Asus Nexus Player is now available in more retailers

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The Nexus Player by Asus is now available outside to the Google Play store. The Android 5.0 set-top box is available in major US retailers that include Amazon, Best Buy, and Newegg.

Newegg and Amazon are the only ones to offer the Nexus Player online. Read more »

Nexus 9 and Chromecast land on New Zealand and Taiwan shores

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Google has quietly expanded the availability of the Nexus 9 tablet and the Chromecast to two new countries. The lucky winners are New Zealand and Taiwan. Residents of both can head to the Play Store if they want to grab a unit.

The new Nexus 9 is one of the few tablets around with Nvidia’s Tegra K1 chipset with the custom Denver CPU core. Even Nvidia’s own Shield tablet uses the more common Cortex-A15 core. Read more »

Netflix has a great Q4, beats Wall Street estimates

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Companies’ earnings reports are rarely exciting, but cord-cutters are probably keeping a close eye on Netflix. They’ll be glad to hear that the company is continuing to defy the cable TV model by beating the expectations of Wall Street both in earnings and user base growth.

Home country growth in the US is starting to slow down – “a natural progression in our large US market as we grow” – says Netflix, so expanding internationally is becoming more important. Read more »

Sony closing all its Canadian stores within the next couple of months

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Sony has announced that it is closing all 14 of its brick-and-mortar retail stores in Canada, including three in Alberta and the Greater Vancouver area each, five in the Greater Toronto Area, and one in Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City each. The move will reportedly affect around 90 jobs and is likely be completed within the next six to eight weeks.

The Japanese company is encouraging its Canadian customers to purchase its products either from third-party retailers, its online store, or by telephone. Read more »

VLC player preview for Android TV goes live

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A preview version of the popular VLC player is now available for Android TV. The application is yet to hit Google Play, though you can sideload on your compatible device if you are overly anxious.

Being a preview release, VLC for Android TV contains a few bugs here and there. Read more »

All Samsung Smart TVs in 2015 to run on Tizen

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We have seen Samsung developing its very own Tizen operating system on the smartphone side. Now the company will be introducing it on its range of Smart TVs this year in 2015. In fact, all Smart TVs made this year by Samsung will be running on Tizen.

Tizen is a Linux-based open source operating system developed by Samsung and Intel. With Tizen on its televisions, Samsung will be able to have better functionality and applications. For starters, the new Tizen Smart TVs will let you check team and player stats during a game while watching TV, PlayStation Now support for streaming PlayStation 3 and 4 games on your television without needing a console, play games such as Just Dance from Ubisoft using the TV remote and camera, stream content from your smartphone to the TV and live broadcasts from the TV to your phone, and a lot more. Read more »

Samsung outs a duo of futuristic-looking wireless speakers

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Samsung took the wraps off a pair of decidedly futuristic-looking wireless speakers. Samsung WAM7500 and WAM6500 will be showcased during CES 2015 in Las Vegas next week.

The WAM7500 is a stand-type model. Its WAM6500 relative on the other hand is easily movable. Read more »

LG announces new quantum dot TV well before CES 2015

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Quantum dot technology has been in the works for quite some time now and at his point it is definitely not a new concept. However it is yet to find a place on the mass market. This was set to change once two of the biggest rival tech giants – Samsung and LG, announced that they will be starting mass production of quantum dot displays, back in June. The hype around the technology is gathering momentum as CES 2015 draws near and we are sure to hear a lot of praise and awe-inspiring talks during the annual show. In light of all this LG has decided to get a head start and jumped the gun today with the official announcement of its first QD 4K TV.

The statement disclosed little other information concerning the new TV. No specifics are yet available regarding model number, price, expected shipping date or even screen size. All we know for sure is that the display will, unsurprisingly be capable of handling 4K resolution and that the new technology contains no cadmium and is not toxic in any way, which the Korean giant, somewhat oddly specifically stressed upon. Read more »

Google outs Live Channels streaming app for Android TV

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Google quietly released an Android TV app, which allows streaming of live channels to the platform. Dubbed Live Channels for Android TV, the application works only on the Asus Nexus Player for the time being.

Live Channels needs a built-in tuner to work (IP-based tuners are also supported) — you cannot simply stream a channel by installing it at the moment. Read more »