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This is Xiaomi’s Mi Box, the new Android TV superstar

This is Xiaomi’s Mi Box, the new Android TV superstar

Android TV hasn't quite managed to clamber aboard the hype-train yet, but if any company can light a fanboy fire for the set-top box platform, it's Xiaomi. The Chinese firm - and outspoken VP Hugo Barra - brought the Xiaomi Mi Box along to Google I/O this week for its first public outing, complete with 4K Ultra HD resolution and a pair of very different controllers.

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With Nomads for Gear VR, Oculus embraces new age of film

With Nomads for Gear VR, Oculus embraces new age of film

When going to the movies involves strapping a virtual reality headset to your face, you have to be delivering more than the local IMAX, but Oculus is confident a new golden age is almost upon us. Released today, Felix & Paul Studios' Nomads app for the Gear VR takes what has, until now, been a fairly gaming-focused device and turns it into an anthropological safari.

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Fluance RT81 Turntable Review – Your retro gateway

Fluance RT81 Turntable Review – Your retro gateway

The current music industry pivot back to vinyl maybe have been exaggerated by the media, but it still warms my record-collecting heart to see so many new options available for those who enjoy listening to LPs. This includes a fresh crop of turntables being built by companies outside the mainstream of traditional platter-spinners like Sony, Technics, and Numark.

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The Netflix fix for bill-shock is better streaming control

The Netflix fix for bill-shock is better streaming control

Intentionally reducing the quality of the video you're watching may sound strange, but Netflix's new granular control over bandwidth could very well save you from cellphone bill-shock. The streaming video company has come through on its promise to give Netflix app users more flexibility in the bitrate at which they watch movies and TV shows, after being criticized by some for chewing through too much of their data allowance.

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Amazon Prime Music graduates for full Sonos streaming

Amazon Prime Music graduates for full Sonos streaming

Sonos' streaming speakers are gaining another source of tunes, with Amazon Prime Music graduating from its beta on the popular audio players. The support had begun trials in October last year as Amazon and Sonos worked out the kinks, with the 1m+ tracks Amazon offers to listeners as part of their annual Prime subscription able to be added to Sonos playlists and mixed with music from other sources.

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Sony’s newest team hunts oddball tech for post-PlayStation world

Sony’s newest team hunts oddball tech for post-PlayStation world

Sony is creating a new idea incubator unit, pulling together wearables, unusual home entertainment, and other odd R&D in the hope of figuring out the next big thing. The Sony New Business Incubation Group (NBIG) will hunt down potential "products that span and integrate conceptual consumer technology, human interaction and the environment around them," the company says today.

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Virtual reality sports is Intel’s big gamble on mainstream VR

Virtual reality sports is Intel’s big gamble on mainstream VR

Intel has snapped up a virtual reality sports startup, with the chip behemoth seeing Replay Technologies as a way into the lucrative arena of digitized entertainment. The deal, announced today, will see the five year old startup's freeD format folded into Intel's technology, with the potential for football, basketball, and other sports being digitally captured from multiple angles that can then be recreated by the fan at home.

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Hale, hearty, and horny: Sonos and Apple study tests if music matters

Hale, hearty, and horny: Sonos and Apple study tests if music matters

Could listening to Beyoncé make food taste better, streaming Slipknot make you more frisky, or slapping on Paul McCartney's greatest hits make your kids do chores? Turns out the answer might be yes to all three, with Sonos bankrolling a scientific study into the effect of music on home life.

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tvOS 9.2 will fix the new Apple TV’s big frustration

tvOS 9.2 will fix the new Apple TV’s big frustration

Apple is addressing one of the latest Apple TV's biggest headaches, with a beta of the newest version of tvOS for the set-top box previewing an extra Siri feature. Currently available to beta testers and registered developers, tvOS 9.2 beta 3 includes a number of hotly-anticipated features like homescreen folder support, but it's one simple usability fix that is likely to interest users the most.

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Amazon Echo adds Spotify as Alexa sets sights on Sonos

Amazon Echo adds Spotify as Alexa sets sights on Sonos

Amazon's Echo can now control Spotify, with the smart speaker turned into a voice-activated streaming music system. The update, which will be pushed out to Echo owners invisibly as an OTA update, works with Spotify Connect, to deliver what Amazon and the music service say will be a seamless transition between your headphones and your home speakers.

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Long-time Netflix subscriber? There’s a price hike coming

Long-time Netflix subscriber? There’s a price hike coming

Netflix may be opening its streaming to more viewers, but it's also set to get more expensive, as grandfathered plans expire this year. The company reminded shareholders of the changes in its financial results today, figuring it's likely that many Netflix subscribers will be faced with the decision whether they want decent quality video or to avoid paying more every month.

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Google Cardboard adds spatial sound for more immersive VR

Google Cardboard adds spatial sound for more immersive VR

Google's virtual reality Cardboard platform is getting even more immersive, with support for spatial sound. The latest addition to the Cardboard API, spatial sound will allow developers to position audio in 3D space around the viewer, even though they're only using a regular pair of headphones.

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