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Android TV: Google aims for living room (again)

Android TV: Google aims for living room (again)

Google is rebooting its ambitions in the living room, launching Android TV. "In some ways, the TV space is not much different to the mobile space in 2006," Google pointed out, with smart TVs all having different interfaces, different sets of apps, and no cohesive ways for developers to create one app for all platforms. Android TV aims to change all that.

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LG webOS TV opens arms to devs (and hopes for some app love)

LG webOS TV opens arms to devs (and hopes for some app love)

The smart TV scene may be increasingly the preserve of affordable set-top boxes like Chromecast and Fire TV, but LG isn't giving up on its webOS plans, pushing out the tools it hopes will encourage developers to get onboard. Freshly released, the webOS TV SDK will allow developers to cook up apps for LG's sets, test them on a TV emulator, and then package them up for distribution to the new app store.

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Apple TV adds ABC News and more in streaming shore-up

Apple TV adds ABC News and more in streaming shore-up

Apple TV has seen another update, bringing ABC News as well as several other new or updated sources to the set-top box. Although ABC already had its Watch ABC app for Apple TV as of December last year, the new app does not require a cable account in order to use it, with live and on-demand content served up for free.

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Samsung Ultra HD TV range expands with curved sets & more

Samsung Ultra HD TV range expands with curved sets & more

Samsung has boosted its Ultra HD TV range, including a pair of curved sets and a sizable 85-inch model for those with big living rooms. The new 85-inch HU8550 Series TV is the largest in its product line - though not the largest UHD TV Samsung actually offers, which is a whopping 110-inches - while the HU7250 Series brings curved UHD to a $2,200 price point, with what the company claims is a broader "sweet spot" for viewers.

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Dolby brings Atmos surround sound to your living room

Dolby brings Atmos surround sound to your living room

Dolby has brought its fancy new surround technology first to the cinemas and then to mobile devices. Now the audio experts are bringing Atmos back to a bigger screen again, but this time, the kind that fits in your living room. You heard that right, pun unintended. Dolby is bringing Atmos to your home so that you can enjoy all the audio goodness that the technology has to offer, right from the comfort of your couch.

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Firefox OS reaches TV as Chromecast alternative

Firefox OS reaches TV as Chromecast alternative

A streaming media dongle to take on Google's Chromecast but running Mozilla's Firefox OS has been caught in the wild, taking what so far has been focused on smartphone form-factors into the living room instead. The market for streaming hardware has flourished over the past twelve months, with Google helping drive down prices with its $35 Chromecast, while Amazon challenged Apple TV with its voice-navigated Fire TV.

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Is YouTube really about to kill indie videos?

Is YouTube really about to kill indie videos?

YouTube's apparent attack on independent artists and labels refusing to concede to its new premium subscription music contract may not see the Google-owned service take their videos down: it'll just cut off their income stream. Reports earlier this week suggested YouTube was taking a heavy-handed approach to some big-name indie artists, threatening to pull their content if they didn't sign up to what insiders claimed were unfair terms.

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Apple TV gets quiet cut in UK and Europe

Apple TV gets quiet cut in UK and Europe

Apple doesn't just have a new entry-level iMac today, but has also quietly cut the price of the Apple TV in the UK and Europe. The set-top box has dropped from £99 in the UK and €109 in Europe to £79 and €99 respectively, though US pricing is unchanged from $99.

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Next Up On My Shopping List: PlayStation TV

Next Up On My Shopping List: PlayStation TV

I might already own an Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and PlayStation 4, but that doesn’t mean I’m putting an end to my purchases of set-top boxes. Quite the contrary, I’ve found a device that, I believe, will be my next big purchase for the home: the Sony PlayStation TV.

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Slingbox M1 spotted trying to resurrect wireless video shifting

Slingbox M1 spotted trying to resurrect wireless video shifting

Things have been quiet from media streamers Slingbox of late, but thanks to the FCC we've got a glimpse of a new model, the Slingbox M1, which looks set to release soon. Packing WiFi connectivity in a compact footprint, the M1 will presumably continue Sling's tradition of placeshifting video, taking content you already have access to in one location, such as through a cable PVR, and squirting it elsewhere in the home or to various mobile apps.

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Logitech Harmony gets Sonos controls and voice search

Logitech Harmony gets Sonos controls and voice search

In order to expand the reach of its integrated entertainment system, Logitech is announcing a software upgrade for both its Harmony Ultimate remote control and Harmony Smart Control app. Now these two controllers can let users sift through their Sonos playlists or search for streaming content, right from the comfort of their couch.

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Living with Amazon Fire TV: Two Months On

Living with Amazon Fire TV: Two Months On

Amazon's Fire TV set-top box arrived to shake up an increasingly crowded home entertainment segment, but does it have what it takes to set the living room alight? The squared-off streamer has been hooked up to my TV for two months now, piping Prime on-demand video among other things, but has the new gadget honeymoon ended?

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