Home Entertainment

Amazon Fire TV Stick takes on Chromecast

Amazon Fire TV Stick takes on Chromecast

Amazon may have been a late entrant into the set-top box space, but that hasn't stopped it already pushing out a second model, with the Fire TV Stick taking a leaf out of Chromecast's playbook by slotting straight into a spare HDMI port behind your TV. Undercutting the original Fire TV box at $39 - though Prime members will, temporarily at least, get an even better deal than that - the stick promises 50-percent more power than Google's dongle as well as 1080p Full HD video and Dolby Digital Plus surround sound, together with three options for remote control.

Continue Reading

iShower2 puts a conference call in your bathroom

iShower2 puts a conference call in your bathroom

Ever find yourself in the shower wishing you could catch up on the latest conference call or listen to Spotify? Niche, perhaps, but since the smart home won't be satisfied until the place you scrub yourself with a flannel is fully connected, iDevices hopes you'll consider putting its new iShower2 alongside your medicated shampoo and that novelty soap your parents brought you back from their last vacation. A wireless, waterproof speaker, it hooks up via Bluetooth to a phone or tablet up to 200 feet away.

Continue Reading

Spotify Family slashes Premium with subscription sharing

Spotify Family slashes Premium with subscription sharing

For many, upgrading streaming music service Spotify to premium and escaping adverts is a must-have, but it can get expensive if everyone in the house wants their own subscription. Spotify Family aims to address that - and boost the company's own coffers in the process - by offering cuts on rates if up to five people sign up in a single family. Since you don't necessarily want to subject your children to your Abba addiction, or reveal to your spouse how much you like Taylor Swift, each user keeps their own login details, personalized recommendations, and playlists along the way.

Continue Reading

Sonos Boost launches to supercharge music streaming

Sonos Boost launches to supercharge music streaming

Sonos promised better wireless support, and the new Sonos Boost accessory is the way it'll deliver that, a range extender up to twice the strength of the existing Sonos Bridge. Resembling a home router, though focused entirely on improving the stability and performance of Sonos music streaming, Boost creates a dedicated network for audio purposes.

Continue Reading

EE TV promises DVR and on-demand harmony

EE TV promises DVR and on-demand harmony

Carrier EE is launching its own TV service, EE TV, promising to bring together free-to-air and on-demand content with smartphone and tablet viewing and control. The new set-top box, which will be offered free to EE's UK home broadband subscribers, claims to eschew the usual ugly and impenetrable user-interface of traditional cable boxes and instead borrow heavily from smartphones and tablets; meanwhile, those devices themselves can be used to navigate through the UI, with the EE TV app, and then "flick" content from mobile to TV.

Continue Reading

Twin Peaks returns: Showtime revives cult classic in 2016

Twin Peaks returns: Showtime revives cult classic in 2016

Twin Peaks is returning, with the cult TV show being reborn for 2016 as co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost ink a deal with Showtime. Nine new episodes of the surreal show will be produced, it's reported, airing 25 years after the original was cut by ABC after just two seasons. However, with casting yet to be announced, it's unclear whether Kyle MacLachlan will reclaim his role as FBI Agent Dale Cooper, investigating murder in the oftentimes-bizarre (and thankfully fictional) town of Twin Peaks, Washington.

Continue Reading

Radiohead frontman’s album is first paygated torrent in history

Radiohead frontman’s album is first paygated torrent in history

So you’ve got Radiohead, then you’ve got their frontman Thom Yorke. Then you’ve got a new album called Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes made by Thom Yorke, a project he’s releasing in collaboration with BitTorrent. This is the first paygated torrent in the history of the world and this album is the first solo release from Yorke in 8 years.

Continue Reading

Verizon finally giving cord cutters the TV they want in 2015

Verizon finally giving cord cutters the TV they want in 2015

Verizon is aiming for a la carte TV service within the next twelve months, with the company conceding that vast bundles of channels of which only a few are viewed simply don't work with today's viewing habits. "No one wants to have 300 channels on your wireless," CEO Lowell McAdam said this week at Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, promising a new option with far more selectivity by mid-2015.

Continue Reading

Nokia Screen Sharing pipes Lumia to TV via NFC coaster

Nokia Screen Sharing pipes Lumia to TV via NFC coaster

How many times have you bothered connecting your smartphone to your TV? Microsoft is aiming to make the answer "at least once" with the new Screen Sharing for Lumia Phones, a circular set-top box with a companion NFC plate intended to ease the pairing process.

Continue Reading

Amazon Fire TV hits preorder in UK and Germany

Amazon Fire TV hits preorder in UK and Germany

Amazon's Fire TV is making its international debut, with the streaming set-top box headed to the UK and Germany. Up for preorder from today, the box uses voice search to hunt through Amazon's streaming video catalog, as well as offering apps for Netflix, YouTube, and other sources, including some local providers unseen on the US version.

Continue Reading

Oculus talks Gear VR: “Science fiction made real”

Oculus talks Gear VR: “Science fiction made real”

Samsung's Gear VR may have a long and unwieldy official name - the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition powered by Oculus - but it's also the result of a lengthy development process, the virtual reality company says. Facebook-owned Oculus and Samsung worked together for a year on the project, with Oculus' John Carmack coming on-stage during Samsung's Unpacked event today to detail the depths the South Korean company gave access to in the Galaxy Note 4 so that the virtual reality HUD would work.

Continue Reading

Sonos 5.1 bypasses Bridge with WiFi setup; Previews Boost hub

Sonos 5.1 bypasses Bridge with WiFi setup; Previews Boost hub

Sonos has powered up its much-anticipated wireless setup, removing the need for a Bridge or a wired connection from your router to at least one of its speakers, as well as revealing a new Boost hub coming later in the year. Sonos 5.1 consists both of new firmware for the speakers and a new app, with an updated setup process that uses an existing WiFi network to get online.

Continue Reading