Smart TV

Roku unveils new smart TV lineup, adds Sling TV and WatchESPN

Roku unveils new smart TV lineup, adds Sling TV and WatchESPN

In August 2014, news surfaced that Roku's TV platform would be finding a home on TCL and Hisense televisions, and this morning Roku announced the second-generation version of those TCL Roku TVs. There are a total of eleven new TVs spanning three new series, each of them tailored toward a specific kind of user and bringing with them the same general functionality. The 3700 Series in particular, composed of three relatively budget offerings, will be launching later on this month, while the other two series (3800 and 3850) will be arriving some time in the second quarter of this year.

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You don’t want a TV box, you want a Laptop

You don’t want a TV box, you want a Laptop

Now that Apple is rumored to be releasing a new Apple TV box later this year, citizens of the mobile smart device universe have their respective TV-loving ears perked up once again. Do I need a new Apple TV? Maybe an Amazon Fire TV Stick instead? Perhaps I need to get something like a Roku, or maybe a Chromecast! Or - better yet - I could just use the old laptop that's sitting in, on, or under my desk. The one I replaced years ago, but still works just fine.

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Panasonic’s new 4K VIERA LED TV line to run Firefox OS

Panasonic’s new 4K VIERA LED TV line to run Firefox OS

The platform wars are moving to smart TVs. Don't believe it? Samsung is putting Tizen on all its smart TVs this year. LG's own sets already have webOS inside. Now Panasonic is joining the fray, but not with an operating system that it has developed itself. As it showed at CES last month, the consumer electronics maker is betting big on Firefox OS and it is announcing that all the members of its new 4K VIERA TV line will be employing the web-based platform for its user interface.

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Nope, Samsung doesn’t actually encrypt Smart TV voice data

Nope, Samsung doesn’t actually encrypt Smart TV voice data

If Samsung thinks it's already safe from the latest Smart TV scandal, it better put its PR team into action again. The company publicly stated that its Smart TVs were not eavesdropping on users and that it follows security best practices when transmitting voice queries, and only voice queries, to a third-party company for processing. Apparently, for the Korean consumer electronics giant, such "best practices" don't actually include encryption, leaving owners' voice commands, or practically anything they say to the TV, open for hackers to hear.

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Samsung Smart TV glitch added Pepsi ads to home movies

Samsung Smart TV glitch added Pepsi ads to home movies

Earlier this week, alarms were sounded when Samsung’s privacy policy for their Smart TVs eluded to what amounted to an always-on listening device. In an attempt to drown out the confusion, Samsung changed the language of their policy to clarify. Still, it highlighted that when you’re using voice control for any purpose, your words travel elsewhere, so be careful out there. In the wake of that mini scandal, Samsung has been faced with another. This time, users are finding ads in their locally stored videos — even home movies.

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Your Samsung SmartTV isn’t spying on you

Your Samsung SmartTV isn’t spying on you

Over the weekend a scary article was written about Samsung SmartTV sets that suggested they were listening to your every word. That these TV sets were collecting information about you - that was the news - that they were taking down everything you said in your living room, sharing that information with 3rd-party systems. This information comes from Samsung's privacy policy, and one single sentence that seems to be a "smoking gun" that lets everyone know how evil Samsung is. Be sure you read the rest of the paragraph before you have a heart attack.

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Hush, your Samsung Smart TV might be eavesdropping

Hush, your Samsung Smart TV might be eavesdropping

Smart TVs are smart, no doubt about that, but their smartness might come at a price. A review of Samsung's privacy policy, which, like many other such policies, are dense and full of legal gibberish, reveals that the Koeran manufacturer's intelligent entertainment displays transmit even spoken words to a third party. This means that everything you say to that fancy voice control feature is fair game to Samsung, that still unnamed third party, and potential hackers, whether you're telling the TV to switch channels or accidentally revealing details about certain undesirable family members.

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Sling TV coming to LG TVs with webOS

Sling TV coming to LG TVs with webOS

CES 2015 brought us two pretty cool things in webOS for LG TVs and Sling TV. Sling TV is a cord cutter’s dream come true. Rather than having to sign up for a cable subscription, Sling TV users can sign up for packages of TV content that streams to them via the Internet. If you’re taking a hard look at an LG TV with webOS (or maybe already have one), we’ve got good news. Sling TV will come to your LG TV.

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Razer Forge TV hands-on: Android TV-based gaming supercharged

Razer Forge TV hands-on: Android TV-based gaming supercharged

This week at CES 2015, Razer brought their first Android TV product to the masses. With a dedicated wireless gaming controller that doubles as a media remote (Razer Serval) as well as a wireless gaming keyboard (Razer Turret) made for the couch-surfing gamer, there's no mistaking the fact that Razer is aiming its cannons directly toward the living room this year. With the Forge TV, Razer is preparing to put the likes of Amazon Fire TV, Google's Nexus Player, and Apple TV on notice.

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Sony 4K Smart TVs hit Android TV hard this year

Sony 4K Smart TVs hit Android TV hard this year

Sony is indeed taking the lead in the Android TV push. In fact, all its 4K Smart TVs unveiled here at CES 2015, and some of its HD line, runs Android TV to deliver apps and games in addition to live TV broadcast and video streaming. But Google's TV platform isn't the only highlight of this latest batch of 4K Smart TVs. Also making its debut is Sony's new 4K Processor X1 that promises to deliver the best image quality, no matter the original resolution of the content.

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Here’s how Tizen on Samsung’s SUHD Smart TVs works

Here’s how Tizen on Samsung’s SUHD Smart TVs works

Samsung may have invented some new branding for its top-tier TVs, but we're more interested in how Tizen has found its way into the sets as Sammy's smart TV OS of choice. The company has been flirting with the open-source platform for the past few years, predominantly focusing on its potential on the wrist as an OS for smartwatches and wearables, but for the 2015 SUHD TV range it's being repurposed as a catch-up platform for live, on-demand, and streaming content that plays particularly nicely with smartphones and tablets. We stopped by to see how it all worked.

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