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DirecTV 4K Genie Mini spreads UHD around the home

DirecTV 4K Genie Mini spreads UHD around the home

DirecTV has launched a new Ultra HD set-top box, the 4K Genie Mini, extending UHD content to more TVs around the home. Available as an add-on for those with DirecTV's existing Genie HD DVR, the new box is around the size of a paperback book and offers remote access to all the usual on-demand and DVR content stored on the main box.

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Apple’s $40 TV service said delayed by networks

Apple’s $40 TV service said delayed by networks

Apple's well-rumored TV service has been taken off the schedule for the September 9 iPhone 6s event, insiders claim, a victim of bogged-down negotiations. Talks with content owners - which back in July were said to be "close" to an agreement - are said to have reached an impasse, sources close to the discussions told Bloomberg Business, over a fundamental disagreement about how the packages should be priced. Apple, it's said, believes it should be paying less for a more streamlined set of channels, while networks want more from the unproven entrant into the TV market.

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Samsung pulls plug on secret tablet TV controller

Samsung pulls plug on secret tablet TV controller

A Samsung scheme to oust the traditional TV remote with a dedicated media tablet has been axed, insiders claim, scuppered over content rights and in-fighting. Samsung Perfect Experience, or "PX" as it was apparently known in internal shorthand, was initially intended to be a key feature of the company's 2015 TV line-up. However, the skunkworks-style project built in no small part on former Boxee talent was shuttered amidst delays.

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Matchstick pulls plug on Firefox OS Chromecast rival

Matchstick pulls plug on Firefox OS Chromecast rival

Would-be Chromecast rival Matchstick has pulled the plug on its streaming dongle, after headaches with Firefox DRM proved insurmountable. The company raised more than $470,000 in crowdfunding cash back in late 2014, persuading backers with its vision of open-source streaming video, place-shifted content, and big-name services like HBO Go, Netflix, and Pandora. Now, Matchstick's creators are promising to pay back every cent they raised, having discovered that taking on Google is easier said than done.

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Slingbox M2 lets your home cable TV follow you

Slingbox M2 lets your home cable TV follow you

Slingbox keeps pushing its vision of subscription-free video streaming, with the new Slingbox M2 pushing your home cable to your phone or tablet. The new box hooks up to cable or satellite receivers, DVRs, Blu-ray or DVD players, or pretty much any other source with a video output, and squirts the content from them across the internet to Sling's apps for iOS, Android, and other platforms, in up to 1080p Full HD resolution.

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Apple TV’s cable-killer said close to all-important deals

Apple TV’s cable-killer said close to all-important deals

Apple is hoping to do to cable TV what Apple Music looks set to do to radio, with deals for a broadcast TV service reportedly close to being finalized. The Cupertino firm's ambitions to offer live TV content - only without the typical cable pricing - are long-standing, dating back to the days when Steve Jobs was still at the helm according to some rumors, but have traditionally stumbled on the scale of the agreements Apple would need to organize with networks and affiliates. Now, insiders claim, Apple may have figured out a workaround.

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Sonos boosts PLAY:1, makes Google Play Music smarter

Sonos boosts PLAY:1, makes Google Play Music smarter

Sonos has pushed out an upgrade to its streaming music system, boosting the performance of its entry-level PLAY:1 speakers plus making setup easier. The changes, released today, tweak the clarity of the PLAY:1, which is the most affordable Sonos speaker at $199 apiece, not to mention optimizing bass performance if you pair the one with a Sonos SUB. Meanwhile, there's now also support for music services to deliver customized streams, like curated Google Play Music radio stations that depend on the time of day.

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Xbox Music renamed Groove for Windows 10

Xbox Music renamed Groove for Windows 10

Microsoft has rebranded Xbox Music for Windows 10, with its new app dubbed Groove, while Xbox Video has also shed its gaming connection. Windows 10's place for video will now be known as Movies & TV, something the company says will make it "more identifiable for our broad customer base." Initially, the changes will be applied to Microsoft's new OS when it hits PCs at the end of the month, but the company says eventually apps on all platforms will be brought in line.

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On July 4th, Declare Tech Independence

On July 4th, Declare Tech Independence

July 4th doesn't have to stop at barbecue food and Will Smith kicking extraterrestrial butt: it's a great opportunity to declare tech independence, too. Whether it's free trials that you signed up for and forgot to cancel before they started charging your credit card, an old cellphone plan that's now looking less than competitive, or your unwatched cable box sucking down cash every month in return for a thousand channels you ignore, there are plenty of ways to make today a more rewarding Independence Day.

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Sonos boosts Spotify playback with Android beta

Sonos boosts Spotify playback with Android beta

Sonos and Spotify have long been a popular pairing, and now a new beta unlocks features like Spotify Radio, genres, and moods through the Sonos Controller. The beta, launching for Android users today but expected to roll out more broadly over the next few weeks, builds on Sonos' existing, rather rudimentary integration of the Spotify catalog, which currently allows users to navigate their playlists as well as search through all albums and artists.

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Devialet Phantom Review – Delectable French aural oddness

Devialet Phantom Review – Delectable French aural oddness

Devialet’s Phantom resembles something from Portal, has audiophiles by turns fuming or fawning, and squeezes up to 3,000W into a casing some physicists say shouldn’t work. The first all-in-one music system from the polarizing French firm, Phantom’s odd looks are, Devialet claims, merely the side-product of its homegrown pressurized drivers and hybridized analog/digital amplifiers. That means the big story is in the sound, but can this sci-fi prop of a speaker really be worth its $2k price tag?

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