There are so many streaming video devices designed for the home theater market right now that it’s getting difficult to keep up. Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, WD Play, Slingbox, Netgear Push2TV, TiVo Stream, Vizio Co-Star, etc. Then there’s all the gaming consoles, smart HDTVs and smart Blu-ray players that also offer streaming video access to apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube. And don’t forget about HTPCs, a small portion of the home theater market, but one that has an enthusiastic user base.Out of this hardware fracas, there are three devices that have constantly topped Amazon’s list of streaming media players as well as numerous buyer’s guides, the Google Chromecast, the Roku 3 and the Apple TV. But which one is right for you? We’ve broken down the pros and cons of the three devices into several categories to help you decide.Price: Google Chromecast (if you own a smartphone / tablet)The Chromecast is obviously cheaper than both set-top boxes, … [Read more...] about Streaming Smackdown: Google Chromecast vs. Roku 3 vs. Apple TV
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The Apple TV has been around for quite a while now, but due to the relatively closed nature of previous models, this is the first WWDC where developers have had plenty of time working with the device and where Apple could announce new developer-focused features. Some may have feared the device could already have been forgotten by Apple, but it’s now clear that is very much not the case.Eddy Cue, Apple senior vice president of internet software and services, began the tvOS portion of the WWDC keynote by comparing older generations of the Apple TV to the new one. While prior generations had in the neighborhood of 80 channels, the new model boasts more than 1.300 channels and over 6,000 tvOS native apps. As far as the company is concerned, that is just the beginning.WWDC 2016: Apple puts smart-home access in the control center with iOS 10That was far from the most important part of the presentation, however — at least as far as the audience was concerned. That … [Read more...] about Sling TV, a host of other features come to the Apple TV at WWDC
While Apple TV has kicked around in various iterations since 2007 and Google TV hasn’t even hit the market officially, enquiring TV addicts want to know: Which will you be kicking back and watching this fall? In truth, despite the similar names and cutthroat competitors, they’re two different beasts entirely. Here’s how Google TV is different from Apple TV.Google and Apple have both carried their smartphone strategies directly over to the television: Apple won’t let anybody else touch its proprietary Apple TV interface, and Google wants to staple Google TV onto as many boxes as it can. Google TV will be built right in to new TVs from Sony, available on separate set-top boxes from Logitech, and those are just launch partners, with many more to come. Just as it does with smartphones, this rainbow of vendors will translate to more choice for Google TV users, while Apple TV users have one box to do it all. Need composite video outputs, 1080p decoding or some other, … [Read more...] about Apple TV vs. Google TV: How do they differ?
Since Apple announced its Apple TV 4K at its event last month, and confirmed that Amazon Prime Video would finally make an appearance on the platform, fans of the set-top streamer have been eager to find out exactly when this would happen. Now, according to a Reddit thread MacRumors points to, it appears October 26th could be the big day for Amazon Prime Video on Apple TV 4K.You may not want to schedule a big Justified viewing party just yet though: All we have is the say-so of an unverified source, who claims to be an Amazon engineer on Reddit. AmazonVideoEngineer has only held a Reddit account for 13 days, and appears to have created it just to post a thread called “The truth about Amazon Prime Video on Apple TV,” in which they claimed that the app has been ready “for months already,” and could launch as early as October 26 — though they were quick to point out this is the earliest the app could make its debut.However the source came back yesterday … [Read more...] about Amazon Prime Video could hit Apple TV 4K very soon, according to rumor
Whether you are looking to add Netflix and Hulu Plus to a second television in the bedroom or perhaps outfitting all the televisions within your home with multiple set-top box streaming devices after dropping expensive cable or satellite television service, it’s extremely helpful to understand the differences between the large amount of set-top box options currently available to consumers. Set-top boxes typically differ when it comes to internal hardware, user interfaces, device functionality, volume and type of streaming video applications, compatibility with other devices on your home network and price.Trying to figure out which set-top box to buy after turning in all those old cable boxes to your service provider? Check out our 2013 category breakdown of the five most popular streaming set-top box platforms:Price: WD TV PlayApple TV, Western Digital accomplishes the same feat at a $70 MSRP.In addition, the recently released device can occasionally be found on sale between … [Read more...] about Set-top showdown: Apple TV vs. Roku 3 vs. Boxee Box vs. WD TV Play vs. Google TV
Apple has officially announced the next-gen Apple TV and, as expected, it supports 4K Ultra HD and high dynamic range (HDR), including Dolby Vision HDR. In fact, the 4K resolution support is built right into the name: Apple TV 4K.The streaming set-top box will run on Apple’s A10X Fusion chip, the same processor found in the iPad Pro, and run on the latest version of tvOS. With this introduction, Apple joins the ranks of competing streaming set-top boxes from Roku and Amazon, which have offered 4K HDR support for a few years now. The new Apple TV 4K will start at $179 for the 32GB version, and $199 for the 64GB upgrade. Both models will be available for order September 15, with shipments beginning September 22.4K upgradesThe addition of 4K HDR support is underscored by the availability of 4K HDR content on the new Apple TV 4K. Apple says it has been working with top studios to make the biggest movies and TV shows available in 4K HDR at iTunes, and that 4K HDR content … [Read more...] about The Apple TV 4K has arrived: Here’s everything we know
"Android is to Google TV as iOS (iPhone/iPod) is to Apple TV," said Josh Builder, vice president of product development and operations at The Orchard. Builder, who is credited with creating one of the industry's leading Internet and mobile content distribution networks, serves on the board of the Digital Data Exchange, an organization dedicated to developing and maintaining communications standards to support the digital distribution of content globally."Android is an Internet-powered TV OS, similar to how phones have an OS now ... and it incorporates a browser and actual television, while Apple TV doesn't allow Internet browsing via a browser or cable TV viewing," he told TechNewsWorld.Despite their different approaches, Google TV and Apple TV would have you believe "...we are now controlling the transmission ... the horizontal and the vertical..." in a pitch scraped straight from the intro to "The Outer Limits." But controlling the transmission, they're not. At least not yet.What … [Read more...] about Can a Plain Old PC Beat Google TV and Apple TV?
On the whole, this past week has been a pretty good one for Apple.Apple TVs are apparently flying off the shelves. iPad sales are also strong, and the device is expected to remain king of the tablet roost through 2011.Sure, a wave of tablets running Android and other operating systems is expected to hit the market in 2011, but right now, the iPad's lead remains tremendous.Finally, Apple appears to have really listened to the customer -- in this case, ad buyers -- in loosening restrictions on its iAd mobile ad platform and releasing an app that lets anyone create an iAd relatively easily.When it was first introduced years ago, Apple TV was casually dismissed as the company's "hobby" by CEO Steve Jobs. Perhaps this was an attempt at keeping expectations low -- the device didn't sell nearly as well as superstars like iPods and iPhones.Then in 2010, Apple brought out a new version of the device and offered it at the comparatively cut-rate price of US$99.Customer demand has been stronger … [Read more...] about CUPERTINO BUSINESS REPORT ‘Tis the Season for Apple TV
The latest version of Apple's streaming media set-top box, expected to hit U.S. retail stores on Friday, has gathered a bundle of mixed early reviews.Some reviewers saw great potential in the US$149 diminutive black box designed to pump movies, TV shows, games and apps from the Internet to a television set. Others found plenty to criticize.Reticle Research, told TechNewsWorld.Still, with great change can come great grousing."As I reviewed the Apple TV, I was a little shocked to see how buggy it was," wrote David Pogue for Yahoo Tech.Pogue joined other reviewers in praising the voice search feature in Apple TV, but he found it lacking in some respects."Sadly, this 'speak to search' command finds shows and movies only in the libraries of Netflix, HBO, Showtime, and Hulu. It can't find anything on YouTube, CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, and so on. It's a missed opportunity the size of Greenland," he wrote."For now, your $150 or $200 isn't buying you much more than you'd get from less expensive … [Read more...] about Apple TV Reviews: Kinda Buggy, Kinda Great
I've been playing with the new Apple TV, and as an old Apple TV owner, I've got mixed feelings about the sexy new black box.On the whole, it's an excellent new product with new features, a new operating system, as well as the foundation to let it be upgraded in November to offer the amazing ability to stream content from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch directly to your big-screen TV.And yet, there are a couple of pesky downsides.First, the FantasticAs always, the Apple TV looks great -- lithe and black, it's so small it can fit pretty much anywhere around your HDTV. In fact, if you want to slip it into a tight spot, you'll have more trouble with the stiff end of an HDMI cable than you will with the unit itself. The old Apple TV was large enough to be noticed, and guests would ask what it was, turning me into an instant Apple TV salesperson. The new one is downright unobtrusive.The functionality, however, remains sweet. The interface is slightly different than the older generation, and … [Read more...] about PRODUCT REVIEW The New Apple TV: Almost There