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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 »

Nexus Player will only arrive in Europe next year, rumor says

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The Asus Nexus Player set-top box was unveiled by Google alongside the Nexus 6 phablet and Nexus 9 tablet earlier this month. While the console will become available in the US in early November, it looks like it may take its sweet time reaching Europe.

Google didn’t announce any specific plans for a release of the Nexus Player outside of the US, and now a rumor claims it will only make it to European countries sometime during the first quarter of 2015 (so before the end of March). Read more »

Amazon launches Fire TV Stick to battle Google’s Chromecast

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If the recently unveiled Nexus Player is Google’s answer to Amazon’s Fire TV (among other competitors), then Amazon’s new Fire TV Stick is surely meant to compete head-on with Google’s Chromecast.

The streaming HDMI dongle has enjoyed great success, thanks primarily to how affordable it is. And now Amazon joins the fray with its very own such device, one that it (obviously) touts to be superior to the Chromecast. Read more »

Amazon Fire TV is out in the UK

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The Amazon Fire TV has become available in the UK today. This comes right on schedule, as October 23 has been the announced release date for the UK ever since the mega retailer started taking pre-orders for the box last month.

To get a Fire TV, you’ll need to agree to part with £79 of your hard earned cash. The game controller for the Fire TV is sold separately, and it’s priced at £34.99. It’s available to order too. Read more »

Nexus Player by Asus is the first Android TV console

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The first device to run Android TV is the previously leaked Asus Nexus Player, announced today alongside the Nexus 6 phablet and the Nexus 9 tablet. The Nexus Player is a set-top-box / console that you connect to your existing TV, and it even comes with an optional gamepad accessory.

Using that you’ll be able to play Android games on your TV. The Nexus Player ships with a voice search capable remote in the box. Read more »

Software update brings new features and user interface to Apple TV

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With iOS 8 rolling out to devices worldwide, Apple TV also received to a major update today. Firmware version 6.2.1 brings new features to the tiny box, wrapped into a brand new user interface.

The updated user interface features flat look, which brings its appearance in line with Apple iOS and OS X Yosemite. Read more »

Asus tests its first Android TV set-top box dubbed Nexus Player

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Android TV is coming this fall and manufacturers are preparing their upcoming products to conquer people’s living rooms. Asus is one of them, and leaked benchmarks of its Nexus Player show the company is testing its first Android TV set-top box.

The unannounced set-top box runs Android L and packs a quad-core 1.83GHz Intel x86 CPU and a PowerVR Rogue G6430 GPU complete with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. Read more »

Sony says most of its BRAVIA TVs will launch with Android TV in 2015

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Sony has shared information on its developer blog on how to get started creating HTML5 and Android TV apps for its upcoming TVs and home entertainment systems. In the process, the company also spilled loose details on its upcoming lineup of Android TV products.

Sony TVs running Android TV will start arriving in 2015 with the company waving goodbye to the Google TV platform. Google Cast is also going to be supported on select Bravia models. The company’s Blu-Ray and Home Theater system products will support HTML5 apps, too. Read more »