22/11/2013 - New Sales vice President Appointed by Mohu
05/11/2013 - Apple’s 2014 Lineup includes iWatch and HDTV
30/10/2013 - Displays for 4.7-Inch iPhone, Apple HDTV, Retina MacBook Air and iWatch Predicted by NPD DisplaySearch
09/10/2013 - A Retro Design for Seiki’s New HDTV
06/10/2013 - New 70-Inch Aquos Sharp Ultra HDTV Gets a $500 Trim
You didn't think Texas would actually let Charlotte hold on to the title of world's largest HD screen, did you? Texas Motor Speedway announced that in 2014 it will take the wraps off of "Big Hoss TV," a 218-by-94.6 foot (20,633 square foot) 1080p display manufactured by Panasonic. That's bigger than the 16,000 square-foot HD screen at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as well as the massive screens located in Houston and Dallas. As the track's handy infographic points out, it has 9,000-plus square feet on the Cowboys' board, it's bigger than the Lincoln Memorial and will weigh more than seven elephants when it's done. Just like the CMS screen it will be used to display live video, instant replays, stats and more during races, viewable to every frontstretch seat in the house (those seated on the backstretch will be greeted by a mere 18-by-24-foot 1080p display). Construction begins this fall after the Texas 500 NASCAR race, and it's scheduled to be ready in time for the race weekend of April 3rd, 2014.
Source: Texas Motor Speedway
Microsoft has signed a deal with a Chinese IPTV firm BesTV to develop "games and related services," according to Xinhuanet. What that means is anyone's guess though, because there aren't many concrete details other than the fact that the duo are working together on something. When we asked for further info, a Microsoft representative could only tell us that the companies are "looking to explore new opportunities in Shanghai and China" because the two believe the region holds "great market potential and partnership opportunities." Funny that, considering the year-long gap between the Xbox One's Asian and North American debuts.
Source: Xinhua News
You didn't think Samsung was done announcing TVs at IFA yet, did you? This time, Samsung's folded two of its new TV notions into one set, announcing the world's first curved Ultra High Definition TVs. They don't appear to be OLED (so our money's on LED), but the new screens will be available in both 55-and 65-inch sizes. the company saying that differently-sized curved UHD TVs sets will come, "based on consumer response", so if people are buying 'em big, these high-pixel curves could get bigger too -- Samsung's range of flat 4K TVs now stretches to a one-percenter-baiting 98 inches. At almost the same time, Sony has just taken the wraps off its own curved display, a 65-inch LED TV -- but it's not UHD. Hyun-suk Kim, executive VP of Visual Display, reckons the new TVs are another milestone for the company, and will "invigorate" the UHD market, one that's only just taking its first steps.
Philips has just launched Cloud TV at IFA 2013, a service that'll work on its latest Smart TVs including the hot-off-the-press Philips 9000 4K series. It'll bring streaming of "hundreds of local, national, international and special interest channels" to 2012 or newer Philips Smart TV models. An app will also be available for those sets to scan all that content, most of which will be free. The company also announced Cloud Explorer, which will let you store your personal photos, video and audio by signing in to Dropbox or creating a new account through Philips. Both are now available in most of Europe and Russia, so if you're pining for yet another cloud streaming or storage service, check the PR after the break.
In the least surprising news of the week, as DirecTV's rights to the vaunted NFL Sunday Ticket package come close to their 2014 expiration date, rumors of who else may bid for them are starting and Google is right at the top. According to AllThingsD, league officials met with the internet giant today and among many topics, the package of rights to air all of the league's games to out of market viewers came up. As suggested, the folks in Mountain View (and several other companies we can all think of) can certainly afford the reported $1 billion DirecTV has been paying -- and YouTube has already shelled out to stream sports in the US and around the world -- but whether or not the NFL would actually sell to them is still in question.
As we mused on this week's Engadget HD Podcast, what's kept the NFL from selling the package in a different way -- explained by league officials as "really in the consumer's best interest" -- so far is a fear that other networks like CBS and Fox would want to pay less to broadcast those games. With billions at stake we'd be extremely surprised to see the status quo actually change, so while anything is possible your best bet without satellite is probably still a copy of Madden NFL 25 Anniversary Edition.
We got our first taste of NFL Sunday Ticket on the PS3 back in 2011, but now Sony has confirmed it's not available for the 2013 - 2014 season. IGN asked PlayStation reps why the app would not be active this season and they wouldn't confirm any specific reasons. For its part, DirecTV told us it's working on enhancing the experience for new and existing satellite customers, although those who can't get satellite TV can still sign up for the mobile / web streaming package. That league commissioner Roger Goodell recently made a cameo in Microsoft's Xbox One launch event probably isn't a total coincidence, but the package won't be available there either, at least not for this season.
06/06/2013 - Tech and TV: Two Good Friends
Now that it's finally got an Android tablet app to speak of, DirecTV is returning its attention to phones: the company announced today that both its iOS and Android applications will be receiving voice search starting this summer. As the company describes it, the app is meant to address the age-old problem of there being "nothing on TV." (And also, the fact that searching for things on your television is damn tedious.) In particular, you can use the app to search by person, title, channel show time or genre, using commands such as "find comedy movies," etc. Like other voice-control services, too, you can give follow-up instructions like, "with Bill Hader" and it'll know to narrow down your results instead of starting a new search. Considering DirecTV whipped up its own search algorithm from scratch, it seems to work intuitively. Still, the fact that the landing page is filled with sample queries suggests there's very much a right and wrong way to ask for what you want.
If you're using the app away from home, you can set your DVR to record different shows. When you're on your home network, though, you can have the search results show up on your television, at which point your phone transforms into a remote you can use to scroll through menus and the like. With the TV, too, you can wade through various programs, as well as search for sports content or ask the app to switch to a certain channel (saying either the channel name or number will work). You can even tell the app to go back through menus, but you can't use your voice to access features like the settings menu. No word on when the beta will roll out, except that it'll happen sometime this summer.
Panasonic and Nuance have been close partners on TV voice recognition in the past; we now know that they're getting a bit cozier for Panasonic's 2013 Smart TVs. The company's newer LCDs and plasmas with voice recognition use Nuance's Dragon TV for voice-only control of basics like volume as well as content and web searches. The engine will also speak out content and menus if you need more than just visual confirmation of where you're going. Panasonic's refreshed TV line is gradually rolling out over the spring, so those who see a plastic remote control as so very 2010 won't have long to wait.
While our zipcodes still haven't popped up on Google's gigabit-connected list, it announced tonight that Google Fiber is coming to the Kansas City suburb of Olathe, KS. The Olathe City Council approved an agreement allowing the expansion earlier this evening, although there's no word on timing for the deployment just yet. The internet / TV service Google provides will be competing with Comcast locally, as opposed to incumbent Time Warner in many of the previous areas. As you can see from the map above, this is technically beyond the initial rollout announced, which should thrill residents of what Wikipedia tells us is the fourth largest Kansas City suburb and hometown of NFL running back Darren Sproles. Still, despite Google calling this hopefully the first of several announcements for additional KC-area cities it will still require a move to this particular corner of the Great Plains.
Time Warner Cable has already brought live TV streaming to iOS, Android and PCs, and now it's finally released its TWC TV service on a device for your TV. Now available on newer Roku players (and, we presume, whatever hardware is coming next), it brings up to 300 channels to subscriber's set-top boxes via the internet. Hit the link below to add the channel to your box -- assuming you have Time Warner cable + internet and your Roku is located in the house where you have service, of course. We've seen demos of the software on Samsung and Panasonic connected TV platforms before, and the Xbox 360 features similar access from a number of providers, so take that into account when guessing which one may be next up.